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Alibaba's deal-making ripples across Silicon Valley

Published on May 7, 2014 1:41 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Alibaba Group Holding may be making its debut on Wall Street later this summer, but it's certainly no stranger to the investors of Silicon Valley.

In the past 18 months, the Chinese e-commerce giant has burrowed its way into the Valley's exclusive investment circles, snapping up sizeable stakes and board seats in fast-growing startups that could provide strategic advantages for when, not if, the company challenges Inc or eBay Inc on their home turf.

A United States investment team headed by cable magnate John Malone's former dealmaker, Michael Zeisser, targets stakes in e-commerce, mobile and logistics-focused companies which combine online and offline operations, people familiar with the US operations said.

Alibaba's vision for the world's largest consumer market has been the subject of intense industry speculation. Silicon Valley insiders who have held discussions with the company, which handles more online transactions than Amazon and eBay combined, say its US deals are central to its strategy of becoming the world's dominant e-tailer.

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