Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding is reportedly ploughing $200m (£133m, €188m) in photo-messaging app Snapchat, striking its latest Silicon Valley deal as it augments its mobile services.

The investment values Snapchat at around $15bn, Bloomberg reported.

Alibaba, which has been coping with an increase in shopping through smartphones and tablets, has made it a priority to develop mobile services.

Snapchat will figure amongst the Chinese firm's largest investments in the US so far.

But it is unclear how Los Angeles-based Snapchat will add value to Alibaba's operations, Reuters reported.

Silicon Valley insiders, who have held discussions with Alibaba, say its US deals are key to its strategy of becoming the world's dominant e-retailer.

The latest Alibaba investment is not part of a previously reported round, Bloomberg reported. In February, the news agency reported that Snapchat was looking to raise some $500m in new funding that would value it at up to $19bn.

Snapchat had, as of December 2014, raised about $650m in six rounds of funding.

Alibaba, which handles more e-commerce than and eBay combined, has steadily expanded its portfolio of American investments over the past year.

In April 2014, it contributed to a $250m injection in ridesharing app Lyft. In March 2014, it paid $215m for a minority stake in mobile messaging app maker Tango.

Snapchat, in November 2013, rejected a $3bn buyout offer from social media giant Facebook.