Reliance and Facebook could team up for WeChat-like "super app"
Social media giant Facebook and Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) could soon team up for a WeChat-like "super app". A report from the Economic Times has revealed the companies are in early-stage talks to bring this program to life and offer people a one-stop-shop for accessing a range of services. Here's all you need to know about it.
What this super app would look like?
While the exact details of the app in question are not clear, ET's sources indicate that it would be something like China's WeChat - a multi-functional platform offering communication, payments, gaming, among other things. Now, given the expertise of the two companies, you could expect the super app to offer access to key Facebook products as well as JioMoney, JioMart, AJIO, and more.
WhatsApp and its user-base might also be leveraged
According to people familiar with the matter, Facebook might leverage WhatsApp and its humongous user-base for the new app. However, they all emphasized that the discussions are still ongoing and the specifics of the app or the deal between Reliance and Facebook - which plan to combine funding, technical know-how, and domain expertise for the project - have not been finalized yet.
New entity could be created or Facebook could invest
"A new company could be created— where both the players could invest; or Facebook could invest in Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail, and that is the way the partnership could be formed for the new venture," a person directly involved in the deal stated.
Reports of Facebook investing in Reliance have been doing rounds
The talks between the two conglomerates come on the back of a report that suggested Facebook could invest billions in Reliance Jio to take up a 10% stake. "There is going to be a collaboration, but it's not clear how the companies will come together since a lot would depend on commercial viability," one of the above-mentioned sources added.
No official word on the deal yet
Neither Facebook nor Reliance has commented on the aforementioned deal yet. The companies have appointed top lawyers and consultants to explore all aspects of the deal but the negotiations have been delayed due to COVID-19 and might take longer to be finalized. "The priority for Reliance Retail right now is to keep stores running so that consumers get supplies," the sources emphasized.