Facebook says Jio deal to drive small biz to WhatsApp

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NEW DELHI :
Facebook Inc. chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said his company’s partnership with Mukesh Ambani-controlled Jio Platforms will help the American tech giant bring “millions of small businesses” in India to its popular messaging app WhatsApp.

“A big part of the partnership that we have with Jio will be to wire up and get thousands of small businesses across India on-boarded onto WhatsApp, to do commerce there,” Zuckerberg told analysts on the company’s June quarter earnings call on Friday morning.

The head of the world’s largest social media network said he is “excited about the opportunity” here and that the company plans to expand to other markets once the platform is proved in India.

“Once we prove that out with Jio in India, we’re planning on expanding it to more folds in India and to other countries as well,” Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg’s remarks are in line with Ambani’s earlier announcement that JioMart and WhatsApp will be working closely in India. Reliance Jio started a WhatsApp-based service for JioMart earlier this year, allowing users to place orders on the platform through WhatsApp.

The messaging platform itself announced, earlier this month, that it now has 15 million users on WhatsApp Business in India, the chat platform’s business-facing part. Many of these are small businesses. WhatsApp is also close to bringing WhatsApp Pay, its unified payments interface (UPI)-based payments service. This will allow the platform to offer a more holistic buying experience for customers.

The National Payments Corp. of India informed RBI iin June that WhatsApp Pay now meets localisation rules for a payments platform.

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