Google to invest $550 million in Alibaba rival JD.com

Google to invest $550 million in Alibaba rival JD.com

Google to invest $550 million in Alibaba rival JD.com

Google is investing $550 million in JD.com, China's second-largest online retailer.

The deal will help Google to expand its online retailing business and could boost advertising revenue, which has been threatened by Amazon.com Inc. recently as businesses increasingly shift ads to the internet shopping company. This includes USA and European markets, with products from the Chinese retailer appearing in relevant Google Search results.

JD.com is a Fortune Global 500 company and China's biggest e-commerce site by revenue, making it a flawless match for such a partnership.

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. Walmart teamed up with Google previous year as both battle Amazon.

A logo of JD.com is seen on a helmet of a delivery man in Beijing, China June 16, 2014.

"The announcement isn't focused on China", JD.com spokesman Josh Gartner confirmed to AFP. The deal will put Google's stake in JD at about 1%, according to a JD spokesperson.

This includes improving supply chain and logistics operations for Google in the region, and JD.com benefiting from Google's technological expertise, the two companies said in a statement.

Although Google is blocked in JD's homeland and main market, China, the partnership recognizes the technical prowess of the U.S. tech giant and hopes to merge it with JD's supply chain and logistics skills and scale.

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