CHINA. Google is set to invest US$550 million in powerful Chinese online retailer JD.com. The deal covers less than 1% of JD.com’s shares, but will give Google access to the lucrative Chinese e-commerce market.

The companies said they would partner on joint retail projects around the world, including southeast Asia, the USA and Europe.

They said: “By applying JD’s supply chain and logistics expertise and Google’s technology strengths, the two companies aim to explore the creation of next generation retail infrastructure solutions, with the goal of offering helpful, personalised and frictionless shopping experiences.” JD will make products available for sale through the Google Shopping platform in multiple regions.

“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 Chief Strategy Officer Jianwen Liao. “This marks an important step in the process of modernising global retail. As we celebrate our 18 June anniversary sale, this partnership opens a new chapter in our history.”

“We are excited to partner with JD.com and explore new solutions for retail ecosystems around the world to enable helpful, personalised and frictionless shopping experiences that give consumers the power to shop wherever and however they want,” said Google Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler.

Under the agreements, Google will receive 27,106,948 newly issued JD.com Class A ordinary shares at an issue price of US$20.29 per share, based on the volume-weighted average trading price over the prior ten trading days.