The world's largest social network company Facebook has announced to take a ten per cent stake in Reliance Jio platform by investing Rs 43,574 crore. Facebook has never made such a large investment anywhere in the world for the minority stake. This shows how important India's telecom sector is to him.
The arrival of India's number one largest telecom company and the world's largest social network company on one platform has deep significance. Add to this also that India is also the largest market for Facebook-owned WhatsApp, where 40 million customers and 80% mobile phones are connected to it.
WhatsApp is preparing to bring its payment service soon, which will now come in partnership with Jio. It is an unprecedented alliance when the same player will dominate such a vast realm of information, communication, and digital payments.
However, this partnership is being shown in the national interest of India and it is being claimed to improve the lives of all Indians, from farmers, small traders. But the bigger this deal is, the bigger questions have also arisen.
In the interest of the country, it is necessary that this partnership is understood neutrally and all parties should be considered. For example, the first question that needs to be answered is how will the atmosphere of monopoly in the information and media sector be dealt with? The question here is of data and privacy. Live and Facebook?
WhatsApp already has so much data in our lives that the question of its safety is waiting for its answer. What is the record of Facebook in terms of data privacy and how it is on the target of democratic governments all over the world? Due to this, the demon of fake news has become such a big challenge for humanity.
Soon, the payment service aspect of WhatsApp will be added to it. We can clearly see that a very complex question is standing in front of us, without which our regulators should not go ahead without finding suitable answers. The next question related to this is, will this new force behave responsibly?
Will there be an attempt to remove other digital payment companies from the competition? Such a large centralization of power can cause such apprehensions. Who will guarantee this? Regulators should fulfill their responsibility.
Obviously, all these issues are related to the digital freedom and democratic values of the Indian people. These are not just issues of a company or business. This opportunity should be seen as an encounter with some of the most urgent issues. Every sensible government in the world has been doing this.