Google To Invest $550 Million In Chinese E-Commerce Site JD.com

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With this investment, Google will have less than a 1 percent stake in JD.com, said a spokesman for JD.

Google's search engine has been blocked in China since 2010 over its refusal to censor search results to comply with local laws.

On June 18, Google announced that it's partnering with JD.com and plans to invest $550 million in the company.

The partnership is a significant strategic play against JD.com's biggest rival Alibaba, which has already embarked on an aggressive expansion strategy across Southeast Asia, Europe and the US.

The deal also provides Google with a stronger foothold in the China market and builds on the search giant's existing relationship with Tencent.

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The announcement comes as United States giant is pushing Google Shopping, a platform allowing customers to compare prices between different sellers, which poses a challenge to Amazon.

Google will receive 27.1 million newly issued JD.com Class A ordinary shares as part of the deal. JD.com touts its "retail as a service" offering, selling its technology and and infrastructure to other retailers.

Google is stepping up its investments across Asia, where a rapidly growing middle class and a lack of infrastructure in retail, finance and other areas have made it a battleground for USA and Chinese internet heavyweights.

For JD.com, the Google deal shows its determination to build a set of global alliances as it seeks to counter Alibaba, which has been more focused on forging domestic retail tie-ups.

In this case, it appears that the greatest value within the partnership is the data that Google can bring to help JD.com grow outside of China.

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