Not a clean sweep

For now, Jio and Facebook are treading softly. The first tie-up between the two companies is an e-commerce venture called JioMart, which allows users to order groceries via WhatsApp messaging. The services have not been integrated fully yet.

“Not all users will be comfortable with the Jio-Facebook partnership and will rightfully have concerns about Jio’s plan to integrate all security under one JioID,” said Gogia. “This is a growing issue in India.” This is especially so, given the mounting concerns over WhatsApp since the Pegasus attack.

However, given RIL’s deep penetration in the Indian market, this could be a breakthrough for Facebook, which has struggled to diversify beyond social media in India. “Despite tedious efforts with the National Payments Corporation of India, it has not been able to boil the ocean in its favour” with regards to payments, Gogia notes.

WhatsApp Pay began beta testing two years ago but hasn’t been launched yet. And that’s only one of the many woes faced by the Mark Zuckerberg-led firm in India. The Jio deal might help, but it can’t solve all of Facebook’s issues overnight. 

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.