Under the partnership, JD.com products will appear on Google's shopping service, giving JD.com access to consumers outside Asia, while Google can apply the Chinese e-commerce company's supply chain and logistics expertise to its technology. This could help JD.com expand beyond its base in China and Southeast Asia and establish a meaningful presence in USA and European markets.
The move for a distribution platform like Google to back a service provider like JD.com is interesting since the company, through search and advertising, has relationships with a range of e-commerce firms including JD.com's arch rival Alibaba.
Google joins JD.com's current investors, including Chinese social media giant Tencent and US. According to Reuters, Google will receive 27.1 million Class A ordinary shares in JD.com, resulting in a less than one percent stake.
"We are excited to partner with JD.com and explore new solutions for retail ecosystems around the world to enable helpful, personalized and frictionless shopping experiences that give consumers the power to shop wherever and however they want", said Google chief business officer Philipp Schindler.
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.