Google is gradually making inroads into China, a country that still bans some of its core services. Over the past few months we have seen some Google apps and services being opened up to users in the world’s most populous country and now the company appears to be willing to keep that momentum going forward which is why it has announced its plans to invest over half a billion dollars into, an e-commerce giant based in China.

Advertising is a major e-commerce player in the Chinese market and Google has decided to invest $550 million in the company. It’s part of Google’s efforts to expand its presence in China and other Asian markets.

The two companies say that this investment marks the start of a partnership that will also see products being promoted on Google’s shopping service. This will potentially help the e-commerce giant reach new customers in Southeast Asian countries while establishing a presence in crucial U.S. and European markets as well.

Officials for have said, though, that this agreement isn’t going to lead to any significant new Google initiatives in China which many of its services still remain blocked. What it does to an extend is bolster Google’s online retail ambitions in one of the most lucrative markets on the planet.

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