What happened: Chinese online retailer JD has started selling goods in the US via a partnership with Google Express. Some 500 items in categories including electronics, home appliances, automotive, and pet supplies are available through Google’s e-commerce site. Most of the products are priced under $100 and come from little-known brands. The shop will likely add more products in the future. The large proportion of consumer electronics in the offerings highlight JD’s reputation as an online marketplace for computer, communications, and consumer electronics (3C) products. Bloomberg reported in October that JD will handle the logistics and Google will take charge of processing orders and payments for the store.
Why it’s important: Facing heavy competition from the likes of Alibaba and Pinduoduo at home, JD is making strides abroad in an attempt to spur new growth. With this goal, the company has been building tie-ups with global giants to push its global expansion. JD received $550 million in cash from Google as part of a strategic partnership last year; JD’s biggest shareholder, Tencent, has a close relationship with Google. Retail giant Walmart co-led a $500 million fundraising round in August for JD’s grocery delivery unit Dada-JD Daojia. The partnership with the Chinese online giant could bolster Google’s e-commerce push in its competition against long-time rival Amazon.