Google invests $550 million in JD.com strategic partnership with overseas focus

The companies said the investment is the start of a partnership that will see JD.com products promoted on Google's shopping service, expanding JD.com's reach beyond its Chinese base and into USA and European markets.

JD.com's USA -listed shares rose 0.4 percent to close at $43.76 on Nasdaq.

The strategic partnership will see Google's investment rewarded with 27 million newly-added class A ordinary shares in JD.com, a less than 1% stake in the company. Google isn't planning on doing anything new in China as a result of the deal.

JD.com said earlier this year that it planned to make its US debut in the second half of 2018, posing a new challenge for Amazon.

"The announcement isn't focused on China", JD.com spokesman Josh Gartner confirmed to AFP.

"This partnership with Google opens up a broad range of possibilities to offer a superior retail experience to consumers throughout the world", JD.com Chief Strategy Officer Jianwen Liao said in the press release. JD.com touts its "retail as a service" offering, selling its technology and and infrastructure to other retailers.

The move for a distribution platform like Google to back a service provider like JD.com is interesting since the company, through search and advertising, has relationships with a range of e-commerce firms including JD.com's arch rival Alibaba.

The investment may give Google access to more consumer data, which can be used to boost usage of Google Shopping, said Morningstar analyst Ali Mogharabi.

  • Eleanor Harrison