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

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JD will also use Google's Shopping platform to promote products globally.

JD will start selling products on Google Shopping, helping it reach consumers in the USA and Europe as it seeks to diversify beyond China's highly competitive e-commerce market. The company has recently teamed up with Walmart to sell groceries. Its new deal with Google will see JD.com gain a partner that can better help it to develop its retail infrastructure as well as make a selection of its products available to Western shoppers via Google Shopping. To return the favor, the retailer will allow results to appear in the Shopping section of Googles search engine.

The deal also provides Google with a stronger foothold in the China market and builds on the search giant's existing relationship with Tencent. With some significant assistance from Google, there is opportunity for JD's expansion into European and U.S. markets.

"The announcement isn't focused on China", JD.com spokesman Josh Gartner confirmed to AFP. Japan's SoftBank Group Corp, which is making big internet investments around the globe, is a major investor in Alibaba.

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The JD.com investment is being made by the operating unit of Google rather than one of parent company Alphabet's investment vehicles.

Google's analytics and market research information will be paired with JD.com's experience in managing inventory of physical goods and handling logistics.

"This partnership with Google opens up a broad range of possibilities to offer a superior retail experience to consumers throughout the world", said JD.com's Chief Strategy Officer Jianwen Liao.

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