A Facebook spokesperson has indicated that there are no plans to make Calibra (the wallet with which you manage Libra) available in India. Indeed, there are local restrictions in India that prevented launching Calibra at this time.
Lose large market
This is important for Facebook because the world’s largest group of users of the social media platform comes from India. Every month there are more than 240 million active users. It is not surprising that Facebook initially wanted to launch Libra in India.
If Facebook cannot offer the Libra digital currency in India, the market will become a lot smaller in the short term. Add to this that Facebook is currently not allowed in China (blocked by the Great Firewall) and the relationship with Russia is very sensitive at the moment. That is because of the criticism that Facebook received for the US presidential election of 2016.
.@facebook has reportedly said that current regulatory restrictions mean it will not be launching its digital wallet service and cryptocurrency in India. https://t.co/IHEPsFWz3V
– CoinDesk (@coindesk) July 10, 2019
These three countries are very important in terms of the number of potential users. About 1,339 billion people live in India, 1,386 billion live in China and 144.5 million in Russia. That is 2.699 billion people, or just over 37 percent of the world’s population.
And don’t forget the regular countries that are closed due to sanctions. Think of the Balkans, Belarus, Burma, Ivory Coast, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Iraq, Liberia, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. These are another 402 million people that Facebook could not serve with their financial services and cryptocurrency Libra. This brings the total size of the “off-limits” population to 3,271 billion people, or about 42 percent of the total world population.
Fortunately for Facebook, there are still enough countries left. After India, their largest markets are the United States, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Turkey and the United Kingdom. All countries where they expect to be able to offer Libra (the crypto) and Calibra (wallet).
But on the other hand, the attitude of Facebook in India, and vice versa, may become the standard all over the world. If that happens, Facebook needs to adjust its strategy to boost acceptance and potential revenue, without having to make too many compromises due to regulations.