Google is investing $550 million dollars in Chinese e-commerce company JD.com. It’s a move to expand into Asia and battle Amazon.com.
Google and JD.com described the investment as one piece of a broader partnership that will include the promotion of JD.com products on Google’s shopping service.
Company officials said the agreement initially would not involve any major new Google initiatives in China, where the company’s main services are blocked over its refusal to censor search results in line with local laws.
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 U.S. and Chinese internet giants, according to Reuters.
For JD.com, the Google deal shows its determination to build a set of global alliances as it seeks to counter Alibaba, which has been more focused on forging domestic retail tie-ups. Japan’s Softbank Group, which is making big internet investments around the globe, is a major investor in Alibaba.
“This partnership with Google opens up a broad range of possibilities to offer a superior retail experience to consumers throughout the world,” said Jianwen Liao, JD.com’s chief strategy officer, in a statement.