Chinese map service AutoNavi agrees to be acquired by Alibaba at $1.5 billion valuationNews / TechnologyBy Karthick Prabu | April 14, 2014Share This article was originally published on Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba has added another feather to its cap with AutoNavi agreeing to a 100% acquisition offer.AutoNavi, the China-based mapping service and location-based solutions provider, received an acquisition offer by Alibaba on February 2014. Alibaba already owns a 28% stake in the NASDAQ-listed AutoNavi in a $294 million deal in May 2013.This deal that puts AutoNavi at a $1.5 Billion valuation is expected to be complete in the third quarter of this year.Chairman and CEO of AutoNavi, Congwu Cheng, says: "We believe that Alibaba is a great home for our employees and customers and that Alibaba will be able to provide us with great resources and strategic benefits to increase adoption of our location-based services in the China mobile Internet ecosystem."Share this quote The details of the possible integration scenarios between Alibaba and AutoNavi were not revealed, however, Alibaba looks to "further integrate mobile commerce into the lives of consumers".Deutsche Bank AG is serving as Alibaba's financial advisor for the deal. Recently, Alibaba announced its plan for its IPO in the US.While Alibaba is constantly strengthening its travel industry presence with its various product rollouts, investments and acquisitions, the other internet-business giants (often referred as "BAT" in China - Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent) in the country are playing their part as well.Tencent launched its map service in late 2011 under the brand name Soso, but recently it re-branded the service to Tencent Maps. Also, in January 2014, Tencent invested (though rumored to be a 100% acquisition) in China-based mapping service Linkech Navi.NB:China map image via Shutterstock.