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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - China's largest e-commerce company, Alibaba.com Ltd, made its second U.S. acquisition in as many months, stepping up its expansion into the market by buying into a provider of services to eBay.
The Chinese company said on Tuesday it has entered into an agreement to buy Auctiva, which provides listing and marketing tools to vendors on e-commerce websites, such as eBay's.
Alibaba, a fast-growing Web operator founded by outspoken former schoolteacher Jack Ma, is building up its AliExpress wholesale transaction platform. It said buying Auctiva would help it reach U.S. businesses, and connect them with suppliers outside of the country.
Alibaba said its acquisition of Auctiva, which closed on August 18, is part of a $100 million investment plan for AliExpress that the company announced in April. Auctiva will operate as a new business unit and will retain its own brand and operations.
In June, Alibaba bought Vendio Services Inc in its first major U.S. acquisition to further its strategy of expanding its global footprint.
Alibaba, which this month reported its strongest quarterly profit in two years, said that the combination of both the Auctiva and Vendio acquisitions brings more than 250,000 new customers to Alibaba.com and related platforms, such as aliexpress.com.
Web commerce is on the upswing in China, as buyers look for better deals in the nation's fragmented distribution network.
Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bernard Orr