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Google to invest US$550m in China e-commerce site

Google is investing us$550 million in cash in China's Inc. as part of a strategic alliance in online commerce.

[SYDNEY] Google is investing US$550 million in cash in China's Inc as part of a strategic alliance in online commerce.

Under the agreement, Google will buy 27.1 million newly issued Class A shares at US$20.29 per share, equivalent to US$40.58 per ADS, the companies said in a joint statement on Monday. The pair plan to explore joint development of retail solutions in several regions, including South-east Asia, the US and Europe. JD also plans to make a selection of products available through Google Shopping in multiple regions.

JD, which competes with giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, came under fire last month by a hedge-fund manager, who called China's No 2 e-commerce operator over-valued and criticized its "silly" investments. Kok Hoi Wong, chief investment officer for APS Asset Management Pte, said his own internal valuation for the US$63 billion company was "a tiny figure".

JD shares fell after the attack, but have more than recovered since then. JD was little changed in US trading on Friday at US$43.59.

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