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

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

The deal will give Google 27.1 million newly-issued JD.com Class A ordinary shares. The companies hope to explore retail opportunities together in Southeast Asia, the USA and Europe and certain products will be made available on Google Shopping, according to an announcement released on JD's summer mega sale day, "618" or June 18, the anniversary of the company's founding in 1998.

Google has formed a strategic partnership with Chinese e-commerce company JD.com which will see the search giant invest $550m in cash as the companies develop "next generation" retail services. This includes USA and European markets, with products from the Chinese retailer appearing in relevant Google Search results. But the deal will also allow Google to draw people away from Amazon when doing product searches online, boosting their advertising dollars.

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

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.

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A logo of JD.com is seen on a helmet of a delivery man in Beijing, China June 16, 2014.

The shares are equivalent to a almost one percent stake in the company, according to a JD.com spokesman.

Morningstar analyst Chelsey Tam said the investment will help JD.com expand into developed markets such as the United States and Europe, where it has lesser exposure compared to Google.

JD's partnership with Google, adds to the company's portfolio of partnerships, such as its longstanding deal with Chinese tech giant Tencent, along with a host of retail giants including Walmart and Suning.

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