Google invests $550m in Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com

Google invests $550m in Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com

JD.com's investors include Chinese social media powerhouse Tencent Holdings Ltd, the arch-rival of Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, and Walmart Inc. With some significant assistance from Google, there is opportunity for JD's expansion into European and USA markets.

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

Google declined to comment on the rumored Flipkart deal. Picture taken June 16, 2014.

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 United States and European markets.

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 US and Chinese internet heavyweights.

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler arrested in Germany over diesel scandal
Rupert Stadler, CEO of German auto producer Audi, briefs the media during the annual press conference in Ingolstadt, Germany . Last month, it admitted that another 60,000 A6 and A7 models with diesel engines have emission software issues.

The shares are equivalent to a almost one percent stake in the company, according to a JD.com spokesman. SoftBank has been heavily investing into online ventures around the world and is one of the major backers of Alibaba.

Google said that through the partnership, the company will explore new solutions to improve shopping experiences of consumers around the world.

Google's analytics and market research information will be paired with JD.com's experience in managing inventory of physical goods and handling logistics.

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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