Google will gain a further foothold in Asia’s tech and e-commerce markets with a $550 million investment in Chinese online retailer JD.com, Reuters reports, fusing JD’s stock with its search and shopping platforms.
The deal will also allow JD to move outside of its China base into Western markets, where it currently has a very low presence. Representatives of the two companies called the investment just part of a wider collaboration that is being developed.
Google also said that the investment will not affect the blocked status of its main online services in China and will not involve any major new Google initiatives on the mainland.
Partnering with JD will also deepen Google’s relationship with one of JD’s highest-profile investors, Walmart, which is one of the leading hypermarket brands in China. This could help challenge the position of rival e-commerce firms Amazon and Alibaba.