JD.com, one of the biggest eCommerce retailers in China, has teamed up with Google to launch a store on Google Express, according to a report by Reuters.
The launch, which happened quietly and without much fanfare, is the latest dual move for the two companies, which have been in collaboration for some time.
In June of last year, Google announced it was going to invest $550 million in JD.com in exchange for a 1 percent stake in the company.
The site is called Joybuy and currently offers everything from shoes to electronics to hair extensions. A majority of the products are under $100 and from brands with less exposure.
“What we can share at this stage is that we are conducting test operations during this early phase,” a JD.com spokeswoman said.
In addition to funding JD.com, Google invested in a few different Chinese tech companies, many of which were working on artificial intelligence applications.
Even though Google search hasn’t been accessible in China since 2010, the company maintains sales and engineering teams in the country.
Both companies have also invested in Go-Jek, an Indonesian ride-hailing company, and JD.com has received money from Walmart.
Google Express was launched in 2013 in a direct challenge to Amazon, in a bid for advertising revenue.
JD.com is in constant competition with its rival Alibaba, and both have made some recent moves to penetrate the United States. Alibaba recently announced a partnership with Office Depot to launch a dual website that would be targeted to American customers.
In December, JD.com and Intel teamed up to start the Digitized Retail Joint Lab. The effort is geared toward creating next-generation vending machines, advertising as well as media solutions and technology for the stores of the future, JD.com said in an announcement at the time.
JD Big Data Platform Head and JD.com VP Zhi Weng said the “lab will combine our collective strengths to develop cutting-edge solutions to bring the precision of online shopping to offline players.”
The eCommerce retailer noted that the effort indicates an “extension” of a partnership that already exists between the company and Intel. It said that Intel’s OpenVINO computer vision architecture and RRI edge computing has already been merged with the company’s computer vision algorithms. That setup allows for the analysis of in-store purchasing habits and customer traffic.
Date: March 7, 2019