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Google to invest $550-million in Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com

Google makes $550M strategic investment in Chinese e-commerce firm JD.com

JD.com made the announcement on the same day as its annual 6.18 shopping extravaganza, which a year ago made a record-breaking $17.6bn in sales, putting it just behind Alibaba's Singles Day. The companies hope to explore retail opportunities together in Southeast Asia, the U.S. 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.

On June 18, Google announced that it's partnering with JD.com and plans to invest $550 million in the company.

JD.com is valued at around $60 billion, based on its NASDAQ share price, and the company has partnerships with the likes of Walmart and it has invested heavily in automated warehouse technology, drones and other "next-generation" retail and logisitics. Items listed for sale on JD.com will be promoted through Google's shopping search results.

The announcement comes as United States giant is pushing Google Shopping, a platform allowing customers to compare prices between different sellers, which poses a challenge to Amazon. Japan's SoftBank Group Corp, which is making big internet investments around the globe, is a major investor in Alibaba.

Company officials said the deal would marry Google's market reach and strength in analytics with JD.com's expertise in logistics and inventory management.

The companies said the investment is a piece of a wider partnership, however, which includes the promotion of JD.com products on Google's shopping service.