China slowdown weighs on revenue growth at internet giant Alibaba
01 February, 2019, 01:45
Alibabasaid its business grew by only 27% on Singles Day, which is China's equivalent of Black Friday.
Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba on January 30 reported revenue of 117 billion yuan ($17.4 billion) for the three months to December, an increase of 41 percent from the same quarter past year. Over 278.8 billion yuan, or $41.6 billion, was spent on product development, sales and marketing, general administration and cost of revenue previous year, an 86.2% increase in renminbi terms from 2017, when the company splashed out 149.7 billion yuan.
Revenue growth, the key measure of the company's business health, indeed slowed in the quarter.
However, Alibaba's earnings results - often seen as a yardstick of consumer spending in the world's second-largest economy - are likely to ease some worries.
Revenue from core commerce increased 40 percent year-on-year to almost 103 billion yuan, while that from cloud computing was up 84 percent year-on-year to 6.6 billion yuan.
To be sure, Alibaba's revenues are still eye-popping by most standards: revenue for the quarter ended December 31, 2018 was 117.28 billion yuan (US$17.06 billion), an increase of 41 percent over the same period in 2018.
Revenue for its cloud business rose 84 per cent year-on-year to 6.6bn yuan, while its entertainment and media business rose 20 per cent to 6.5bn yuan. The firm had projected for a ¥119.4 billion in sales for the quarter.
The results propelled the shares of NY listed Alibaba to gain more than 6%, to US$166.82.
"Alibaba had another strong quarter". Even though the e-commerce company scored a record intake of $30 billion (£22.9 billion) on last year's Singles' Day, the annual growth of the event dropped to the weakest rate in its decade-long history.
Growth is expected to ease further this year.
Chinese consumers are spending strongly despite an economic slowdown, the chief executive of Alibaba said yesterday.
The company also announced that CTO Jeff Zhang has been put in charge of Alibaba Cloud, in addition to his existing duties.
Anticipating the headwind, Alibaba previously lowered its revenue outlook for its financial year ending March even before the top sales season.
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