Google is venturing into Asian e-commerce with the help of a local powerhouse. The company said Monday it will invest $550 million in JD.com, a leading Chinese e-commerce company also known as Jing Dong, to provide consumers easier options to shop online and tap into the Southeast Asian market. “The Asia-Pacific region is one of the largest and fastest growing e-commerce marketplaces in the world,” Karim Temsamani, Google’s president of Asia-Pacific operations, said in a statement. “People in Southeast Asia alone are expected to spend $88.1 billion online by 2025.” The partnership will merge JD.com’s supply chain and logistics focus with Google’s technology, according to Google. JD.com will also join Google Shopping and expand the product selection there. Google isn’t the first US-based company to partner with JD.com. In 2016, Walmart sold its Chinese venture, Yihaodian, to JD.com in exchange for a 5 percent stake in the company. JD.com is issuing 27.1 million shares of stock to Google as part of the deal, Google said.
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