China's Alibaba to potentially invest in Snapchat: US media

Snapchat has held talks with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba toward a possible investment in the mobile-messaging startup, the United States media has reported. -- PHOTO: AFP
Snapchat has held talks with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba toward a possible investment in the mobile-messaging startup, the United States media has reported. -- PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Snapchat has held talks with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba toward a possible investment in the mobile-messaging startup, the United States media has reported.

It was not clear whether the discussions will lead to a deal, the reports on Wednesday said.

According to the Bloomberg news agency, the first to report the talks, the terms of the financing could value Snapchat at around US$10 billion (S$12.45 billion).

Snapchat rocketed in popularity, especially among teens, after the initial app was released in September 2011. Created by then Stanford University students, the app allows the sending of text and photo messages that disappear seconds after being viewed.

The company had last year rejected a buyout offer from social network giant Facebook, judging the US$3 billion offer too low, US media reports have said.

Snapchat has also been courted by other investors and would-be buyers, including a group led by Chinese Internet giant Tencent, which estimated its value at US$4 billion.

Alibaba, which is preparing for its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in September, has in recent months made a series of disparate investments - from entertainment company ChinaVision Media to Singapore Post, the main postal operator in Singapore, as well as in Youku Toudu, a sort of Chinese version of YouTube.