American tech-company Google invests about 550 million dollars into the Chinese web giant JD.com. Both Google and JD.com say they want to cooperate to develop a retail infrastructure that improves the personal shopping experience and alienates friction in certain markets. What this specifically contains, is yet unclear.
The idea behind this investment is that JD.com will offer products to the consumer in the United States and Europe through Google Shopping. This means that offers on JD.com will be better accessible for consumers outside of Asia, as Google has a more prominent place in lots of these markets. As the United States and China are currently working on trade war, the timing of the investment is remarkable. Because of this trade war, the Chinese web giant has flattened their US-activities.
According to the Dutch news source NOS, the investment of Google does not mean that Google will start offering its services in China again. The American company is, since January 2010, no longer active in the Chinese mainland. Activities were relocated to Hongkong because of differences in opinion on online freedom and attacks by hackers. Since this argument, Google has been blocked in China.
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