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Alibaba revenue grows 61% year-on-year in Q1FY19


Chinese conglomerate Alibaba Group has reported a 61% YoY growth in revenue in the quarter ended June 30, 2018 to $12.29 billion. The growth was mainly attributed to the robust performance of its core e-commerce and its cloud-computing businesses.

Alibaba said that during the quarter, annual active consumers on their retail marketplaces (in China) reached 576 million, an increase of 24 million from an year ago, while mobile monthly active users reached 634 million from about 617 million a quarter ago.

However, as was largely expected, the company’s net income fell 41% to $1.31 billion in the quarter ending June, owing to a ‘one-time increase in share based compensation expense to its subsidiary, Ant Financial. Excluding this one-time payment, the company said its net income rose 33% from a year ago.

Core Commerce

Alibaba’s core commerce business, which focuses on its online shopping sites Tmall and Taobao, is still the company’s biggest unit, accounting for around 86 percent of revenues. In the quarter ending June, revenue from core commerce increased 61% year-over-year to $10.45 billion.

The company attributed the strong performance in the division to multiple factors including, an improvement to its Taobao App, which led to higher sales, the launch of a new loyalty membership program ,’88VIP’, and tie ups with various international consumer brands. Further, a successful execution of its ”new retail strategy”, coupled with expanding its Hema supermarket chain also boosted its revenues, the company said.

Revenue from international commerce retail business rose 64% YoY, driven by the strong growth of Southeast Asian platform Lazada and global retail marketplace AliExpress.

It is important to note that the company also announced that it would merge the recently acquired Ele.me food-delivery unit with affiliate Koubei in the coming days.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing revenue rose 93% YoY to $710 million, driven by growth in ‘paying’ customers and increasing revenue-per-customer, reflecting higher value-added products, said Alibaba. The company said that, in the June quarter, it launched various products based on big data analytics, artificial intelligence, security and Internet-of-Things, which helped gain new clients. In the quarter, it has tied up with multiple large enterprise customers including, Minsheng Bank, China Communications Construction Group (CCCG), IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) among others.

This week, the Asian conglomerate launched 9 new products for its cloud customers, with which it will compete with Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure. In India, it tied up with Paytm to launch an artificial intelligence (AI) cloud computing platform for developers, start-ups, and enterprise.

Digital Media

Revenue from digital media and entertainment increased 46% year-over-year to $903 million. During the quarter, Alibaba’s online video unit Youku registered a 200% year-on-year growth of daily average subscribers, largely on the back of the telecast of the FIFA World Cup. Youku partnered with China Central Television (CCTV) to stream all World Cup games, the company said.

Innovation initiatives

Revenue from innovation initiatives and others increased 64% year-over-year to $160 million. Alibaba said that Tmall Genie, its AI-powered voice assistant, achieved sales of 5 million units since its official launch about an year ago.

Ant Financial

Alibaba said that in June, Ant Financial completed its Series C equity financing totaling about US$14 billion, which reflected a significant increase in the subsidary’s valuation.

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