Google is to make a $550m (£415m) cash investment in the Chinese e-commerce firm JD.com, as part of its attempts to its presence in Asian markets. The deal will give Google a stake of less than one per cent in JD.com.
By combining JD’s supply chain and logistics expertise and Google’s technology strengths, the two companies said they aim to explore ideas around next-generation retail infrastructure solutions, with the goal of offering helpful, personalized and frictionless shopping experiences. The deal will also see the Chinese firm’s products promoted on Google’s shopping service, a move that will help it expand beyond its base in China and South-east Asia and generate revenues in the US and European.
Google is increasing its investments in Asia, despite the fact that its services are blocked in China, over its refusal to censor search results in line with local laws. It also recently took a stake in Indonesian ride-hailing firm Go-Jek. JD.com’s other investors include Chinese social media powerhouse Tencent Holdings.
“This partnership with Google opens up a broad range of possibilities to offer a superior retail experience to consumers throughout the world,” said JD.com chief strategy officer, Jianwen Liao. “This marks an important step in the process of modernizing global retail.”