Neither Snapchat nor Alibaba were immediately available for comment when contacted by Reuters.
Snapchat, popular with teenage users, turned down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook Inc last year, the Wall Street Journal reported in November.
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Facebook launched Slingshot, a similar smartphone app, on June 17. The app allows consumers to exchange photos and videos, which will later disappear, without requiring Facebook accounts.
Snapchat this year settled charges with U.S. regulators, which accused it of deceiving consumers by promising that photos sent on its service disappeared forever after a period of time.
According to the Federal Trade Commission at the time, photos sent on Snapchat could, in fact, be saved by recipients using several methods.
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