Reuters, citing the two companies, reported that the investment is part of a partnership in which Google will promote JD.com products on its shopping service so that JD.com can expand beyond its two main markets of China and Southeast Asia. Google’s main services are blocked in China because it won’t censor search results, so the deal does not include Google doing anything new in China. Google has also invested to get a piece of Go-Jerk, the Indonesia ride-hailing company, and sources told Reuters it could make an investment in Flipkart the Indian eCommerce company being acquired by Walmart, as well. The $550 million investment in JD.com is coming from the operating unit of Google and not Alphabet’s investment arm. Google gets 27.1 million new JD.com shares, giving it a 1 percent stake in the company. “This partnership with Google opens up a broad range of possibilities to offer a superior retail experience to consumers throughout the world,” said Jianwen Liao, JD.com’s chief strategy officer, in a statement, reported Reuters.
In March, reports surfaced that in an effort to deepen its push into securities, banking and insurance, JD.com’s finance arm was seeking to raise ¥12 billion — or $1.9 billion — in equity. If successful, the unit could be worth more than $20 billion, CNBC reported. JD Finance’s fundraising began in 2017 and could become finalized in the weeks to come, people familiar with the deal told CNBC. The fundraising comes as tech companies in China are seeking to capture the demand for digital services, including those that are related to finance. JD Finance reportedly plans to use some of the funds to invest in financial institutions within China — and to purchase licenses for securities and banking in addition to other areas. Potential investors in the round are said to include the Qiyuan National New Industry Venture Capital Guidance Fund, COFCO and China Merchants Group.