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Mark Zuckerberg aims to set foot in e-commerce with Jio deal

Facebook Jio recently collaborated to expand the reach of JioMart via WhatsApp so that both benefit from it

IANS IANS
New Delhi Published on: April 30, 2020 11:34 IST
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JioMart has started taking orders via WhatsApp

Facebook's over Rs 43,000 crore investment in Jio Platforms will help the social networking giant build similar products for the other key markets around the world, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook, which has long been striving to enter the big club of the e-commerce world, has chosen India in a significant move to begin its global e-commerce journey with investing $5.7 billion (approx. Rs 43,574 crore) in Reliance Jio, sounding the bugle to take on e-commerce behemoth Amazon and Walmart in the long run.

"Certainly all the products and technology that we're building to enable that (Jio) partnership are going to be things that we want to do around the world. So we're very excited about working with them to drive this vision forward and then extending it everywhere over the coming months and years," Zuckerberg told the analysts during an earnings call late Wednesday.

Facebook has placed a right bet on Reliance Jio as it has a massive retail infrastructure and pan-India presence and the timing is perfect as grocery business is booming worldwide – be it online or the neighbourhood Kirana store - in these social distancing times.

"Jio has had this vision for a while. JioMart vision is there are millions of small businesses and shops across India and they want to try to help get them on to a single network that you'll be able to communicate with through WhatsApp and do payments online through WhatsApp," said the Facebook Founder.

"So I think of that is a great, very large example of how we can wire up and help small businesses in the country where we have the largest WhatsApp community," he added.

WhatsApp has over 400 million users in the country. On the commerce side on WhatsApp, Zuckerberg said the company is focused on making it big with merging all its family of apps.

"So that small business can have a presence on all of the apps -- Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger and can communicate organically with people and then increasingly can do things that can help them drive transactions," he informed.

"We started rolling out things like catalogs in WhatsApp, we're working on payments to be able to complete transactions and we've rolled out a new ad format, click to messaging ads, where basically small businesses and different businesses are finding that their message threads with people perform better for driving sales than their websites or other presences; they basically buy ads inside Facebook or Instagram and send people through chat threads," Zuckerberg elaborated.

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