Two men chat beside a logo of Alibaba (China) Technology Co Ltd at its headquarters on the outskirts of Hangzhou. Photo: Reuters/Steven Shi

Chinese e-commerce major Alibaba has sought approval of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for acquiring stake in online grocery platform BigBasket.

A CCI notice stated, “The proposed combination relates to the acquisition and purchase of shares of Supermarket Grocery Supplies (SGS), the entity that runs BigBasket, by Alibaba Singapore,” reports PTI.

The notice, however, did not spell out the details of the proposed investment, including the quantum of stake and the financial value of the deal.

Investing in BigBasket would help Alibaba add more muscle to take on U.S.-based rival Amazon. This move will also help digital wallet company Paytm in which Alibaba has a majority stake.

BigBasket has operations in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Ahmedabad, Patna, Kolkata, Jaipur, Vijayawada, Indore, Punjab and Lucknow.

With people becoming comfortable buying online even milk and bread, online grocery segment is projected to witness a strong growth over the next few years in India. According to a report by Franchise India, the online grocery market is expected to be around Rs 2.7 billion (US$ 41.31 million) by 2018-19, the agency added.