Alibaba's stake in Snapchat may buoy mobile portfolio
Updated: 2014-08-01 07:09
By Amy He in New York (China Daily)
People take pictures in front of the Snapchat Inc headquarters in Los Angeles. Alibaba Group is planning an investment in Snapchat in an effort to beat its competition and win more market share on the mobile platform. Provided to China Daily
China's e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is reportedly in talks to provide funding to US messaging company Snapchat, further adding to the Hangzhou-based company's string of investments in American companies leading up to its IPO debut in the United States.
Alibaba is part of a group of investors negotiating with Snapchat, according to Bloomberg News, which said this latest round of financing may value the California-based company at $10 billion.
Alibaba and Snapchat representatives did not return requests for comment.
Founded in 2011, Snapchat is a messaging application where users send photos to friends - called "snaps" - and limits the viewing time to 10 seconds before the snaps disappear.
Users send more than 700 million snaps a day, according to Snapchat, though it has never disclosed its user numbers, which analysts estimate to be about 80 million.
Justin Ren, professor of technology management at Boston University's School of Management, said Alibaba's continued investment in US firms serves multiple purposes for the company, since it is now "a company from an emerging economy that has just started its ascending step to the world stage".
Alibaba's interest in Snapchat may be a