A Chinese rival to Amazon is in talks with Kroger

A Kroger store in Cincinnati.

Chinese e-commerce and technology company Alibaba Group and U.S. grocer Kroger have had early discussions on working together, including a meeting in which U.S. executives traveled to China, a source familiar with the matter said.

The business development talks are at an initial stage, and it is not clear if they will lead to any cooperation, the person said, declining to be named.

The discussions come as U.S. e-commerce company Amazon.com is expanding aggressively into groceries with its acquisition of Whole Foods Market.

Spokespeople for Kroger in the United States and Alibaba in China did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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