Alibaba earnings reveal ‘blowout quarter’ for soaring e-commerce giant

17 Aug 2017

Alibaba sign at the New York Stock Exchange. Image: Christopher Penler/Shutterstock

Alibaba has released its latest quarterly earnings report of the year, and it’s sure to make stockholders very, very happy.

Not content with effectively running China’s entire e-commerce sector, Alibaba is now rapidly becoming a world power, judging by its latest quarterly earnings report.

According to the report, Alibaba has managed to achieve year-on-year growth in revenue of 56pc, to a total of 50.1bn yuan ($7.4bn), self-described as a ‘blowout quarter’.

This surpassed market estimates that put the figure at just under 48bn yuan ($7.19bn), with the vast proportion of the company’s success down to its core e-commerce business, making up 86pc of revenues.

Elsewhere, Alibaba experienced enormous growth in its cloud business, growing by as much as 96pc with revenues of $359m and – for the first time – a consumer base of more than 1m, having almost doubled on last year.

Alibaba now has 17 data centres across the globe, including two of the most recent additions in Indonesia and India.

The company’s smaller divisions also enjoyed success during the last quarter – its digital media and entertainment division showed revenue growth of 30pc year on year to $602m, and it invested in Irish start-up Showtime Analytics.

It also added 22m mobile monthly users of its marketplaces in March of this year, bringing its total in June to more than half a billion users.

‘The numbers speak for themselves’

Alibaba’s executive vice-chairman, Joe Tsai, was not coy in describing the quarter as a financial success, adding that “the numbers speak for themselves”.

“The reason we are able to deliver these results is that we sowed the seeds years ago by investing in technology, by investing in innovation, by investing in people and by being bold with a vision that nobody thought was possible,” he said.

“Today, the ‘Alibaba Economy’ is self-reinforcing, and it is as strong as ever.”

In recent months, Alibaba has been expanding its products to rival US giants such as Amazon in the e-commerce game, with revelations that it is to release its own smart personal assistant to take on the Amazon Echo.

Not only that, but it also plans to compete with Amazon in the physical shopping stakes, as well with bricks-and-mortar stores, with its ‘new retail’ strategy.

Similar to Amazon Go’s concept of a store that changes how we pay for our items, Alibaba wants to make shopping more mobile and delivery-focused using its platform.

Alibaba sign at the New York Stock Exchange. Image: Christopher Penler/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic