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Alibaba Logs Slowest Revenue Growth Amid ‘Volatile Market Environment’

LONDON — Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group logged its slowest quarterly revenue growth since listing in 2014.

Impacted by China’s continuous crackdown on the tech sector, and facing competition from the likes of JD.com, ByteDance and Kuaishou, which have doubled down on livestreaming selling, Alibaba Group’s revenue in the quarter ended Dec. 31 rose about 10% to 242.6 billion renminbi, or $38.37 billion.

Alibaba’s net profit plunged 75% to 19.43 billion renminbi, or $3 billion, in the period. The company explained that it was caused by a 25.14 billion, or $3.94 billion, impairment of goodwill in relation to digital media and entertainment segment, and “the decrease in net gains arising from the changes in fair value of our equity investments.”

Income from operations saw a 86% decrease year-over-year to 7.06 billion renminbi, or $1.11 billion.

Revenue from the China commerce retail business, which included its core Taobao and Tmall business, increased 7% to 168 billion renminbi, or $26 billion, from a year ago.

Customer management revenue, a metric that tracks how much money merchants spend on ads and promotions on Alibaba’s sites, decreased by 1% year-over-year. Alibaba said the decrease was because of the slowing market conditions as well as competition.

Cloud computing, the second-largest source of revenue for Alibaba, came in at 19.5 billion renminbi, or $3.06 billion, a 20% year-over-year increase.

Worldwide annual active consumers of Alibaba increased 43 million in the past 12 months to 1.28 billion (979 million consumers in China and 301 million consumers overseas).

Alibaba’s shares closed down 6.9% in Hong Kong and fell about 5% in New York before the results were announced. The Hangzhou-based company’s share price have fallen about 60% in the past 12 months.

Despite the downfall, Daniel Zhang, chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group, said the group delivered steady progress “in a complex and volatile market environment.”

“We achieved positive momentum in key strategic businesses through a disciplined focus on capacity building and value creation to fuel our future growth,” Zhang added.

Maggie Wu, CFO of Alibaba Group, called the 10% revenue growth a “healthy” result.

This story was reported by WWD and originally appeared on WWD.com.

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