Google has revealed plans to pour $550 million into JD.com — one of China’s e-commerce titans. It’s a crucial partnership for Google, which gains leverage within the important Chinese consumer market, while sending a message to competitors like Amazon. But that’s not to say that JD.com won’t also reap rewards from the union.
By joining Google Shopping, JD.com — which already has investments from Tencent and Walmart — will boost its profile more globally and gains millions more prospective customers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and the US.
As for Google, the alliance gives the company a leg up against established players Alibaba and Amazon. JD.com is China’s second largest online retailer and possesses both supply chain and logistics expertise Google can use to its advantage. Google’s underlying plan is to “accelerate how retail ecosystems deliver consumer experiences” on a global scale as well as across the rapidly growing Southeast Asian online sector.
The deal also continues the trend of Google products infiltrating China’s digital borders, despite the troubles its search engine has faced in the past. In January, Google invested $120 million in eSports platform Chushou, which is quickly shaping up to become a Twitch rival.