Google to Lavish Cash on JD.com

Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) said Monday it will invest more than half a billion dollars in China's second-largest e-commerce player JD.com (NASDAQ: JD)

As part of a strategic partnership, Google will put $550 million in cash into JD.com, the companies said in a statement. In return, Google will receive more than 27 million newly issued JD.com Class A ordinary shares at an issue price of $20.29 per share, or equivalent to $40.58 per American depository share based on the volume-weighted average trading price over the prior 10 trading days. JD.com listed American depository shares in its group company on the NASDAQ in 2014.

The two tech companies said they would work together to develop retail infrastructure that can better personalize the shopping experience and reduce friction in a number of markets, including Southeast Asia.

For its part, JD.com said it planned to make a selection of items available for sale in places like the U.S. and Europe through Google Shopping — a service that lets users search for products on e-commerce websites and compare prices between different sellers.

When retailers partner with Google, it gives their products visibility and makes it convenient for consumers to purchase them online. For the tech giant, its shopping service is important in helping to win back product searches from Amazon and to stay relevant in the voice-powered future of e-commerce.

The partnership would open a channel for JD.com to sell to consumers outside China, especially at a time when trade tensions between Beijing and Washington are high.

Google shares declined $5.68 to $1,153.59, while those for JD.com gained $1.05, or 2.4%, to $44.64