Alibaba Buys Into Mapping Company

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is spending again to gain the upper hand as it competes to sell to China’s rapidly growing number of smartphone users.

In its second deal in as many weeks, China’s largest e-commerce company will pay $294 million for a 28 percent stake in Internet mapping company AutoNavi Holdings Ltd., AutoNavi said in a statement Friday. The two companies will also cooperate and combine their data to develop e-commerce products that make use of the actual location of smartphone users.

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