• Deal said in the range of 2 billion yuan to 3 billion yuan
  • ZTEsoft’s clientele can shore up Alibaba’s cloud division

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is closing in on a deal to acquire Chinese telecommunications gear maker ZTE Corp.’s software subsidiary, an acquisition that could help strengthen its global internet computing business, people familiar with the deal said.

China’s leading e-commerce operator has been in negotiations to buy ZTEsoft Technology Co. for months and is nearing an agreement, according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified discussing a private deal. Alibaba could pay between 2 billion yuan ($294 million) and 3 billion yuan for a division that provides software support and…