Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL) Google has agreed to develop and share future technologies with Chinese behemoth Tencent Holdings Ltd. (TCTZF).

The cross-licensing deal will see Google and Tencent share patents covering a range of products and technologies. Further details about the agreement weren’t disclosed, although Google said the partnership will be “long-term” and could open the door to other forms of collaboration in the future.

“By working together on agreements such as this, tech companies can focus on building better products and services for their users,” Mike Lee, Google’s head of patents, said in a statement.

The two giants joining forces could have huge implications. In Google, Tencent, China’s leader of internet services, including social media, shopping and gaming, has found a partner capable of helping it to achieve its international expansion goals. In exchange, the operator of the WeChat messaging service could give Google the platform it needs to expand in a country where many of its products, including its app store, search engine and email service, are blocked by regulators.

Google withdrew its search engine from China in 2010 after refusing to abide by the country’s strict self-censorship rules. Ever since, the U.S. tech company has been exploring new ways to break into the world’s second largest economy and one of the biggest internet markets.

In December, Google said it is opening a new facility in Beijing tasked with conducting artificial intelligence research. Then, at the beginning of the year, the company invested in Chushou, a Chinese mobile-centric game live-streaming platform with 90 million registered users. (See also: China Will Overtake the U.S. in AI: Alphabet Chairman.)

Google isn’t the only major U.S. firm keen to strengthen ties with Chinese companies. Joining forces with local firms is often the only way that foreign corporations can bypass stiff regulation and sell products in country. Earlier this month, Facebook Inc. (FB) announced that it is teaming up with local smartphone firm Xiaomi Inc. in order to launch its first virtual reality headset in China. (See also: Facebook and Xiaomi Will Launch a Virtual Reality Headset in China.)

Google’s deal with Tencent is its first with a large Chinese tech firm. The Mountain View, California-based company has also signed similar agreements before with Samsung Electronics Co. (SSNLF), LG Electronics and Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO).

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