Google ploughs 550m dollars into China’s JD.com
Google’s search engine service is banned in China due to censorship rules.
Google is investing 550 million US dollars (£416 million) in Chinese e-commerce company JD.com, rival to Asian giant Alibaba.
The funding forms the basis for a strategic partnership between the two companies, allowing Google to learn from JD’s supply chain and logistics knowledge.
As part of the deal, Google will receive 27.1 million new shares in JD, which is listed in New York, giving it a stake of less than 1% in the company.
JD plans to list its products on Google’s shopping site, and will benefit from Google’s huge customer base outside China.
The two firms will also look at building retail technologies in south-east Asia, America and in Europe.
Google’s chief business officer Philipp Schindler said the deal would help the tech juggernaut explore how to build “frictionless shopping experiences”.
JD’s chief strategy officer Jianwen Liao said: “This partnership with Google opens up a broad range of possibilities to offer a superior retail experience to consumers throughout the world.
“This marks an important step in the process of modernising global retail.”
Google’s main services are blocked in China, including its email and search engine, due to the company’s refusal to impose Chinese censorship rules on its search results.