Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Makes the Best of Chinese Downturn
Giving an update about what is going on with the business and the plans ahead, Zhang said that the firm has finished the fiscal year on a very strong note. He was happy at the growth in mobile users, active buyers and orders. He added that their focus on long-term strategic priorities has laid a strong foundation for future growth. Here, he was talking about globalization, rural growth, building a world-class cloud computing business and creating an end-to-end media and entertainment platform.
CFO Maggie Wu said that their good results this quarter reflect the unique strength of their core e-commerce business in times of tough economic conditions. It also shows the emerging momentum of their balanced portfolio of businesses, from mobile media to cloud computing. As per Wu, these results showcase the resiliency and growing clout of Chinese consumers and this bodes well for their business.
In the quarter that ended on March 31, 2016, annual active buyers on the firm’s China retail marketplaces increased to 423 mn, an increase of 16 mn over the prior quarter, while mobile MAUs in March reached 410 mn, an increase of 17 mn over December 2015. This growth and that of the GMV were some of the key factors that were to be looked at in the results of the e-commerce giant.
Analysts at Wedbush Securities told Reuters: ‘Whatever they are doing must be working, and most importantly it’s a sign that the Chinese consumer may not be weakening quite yet. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd makes up a big part of the spend by Chinese consumers and so a rise in volumes is a hint that the Chinese consumer remains strong.’
Alibaba Bets on Other Firms to Grow
The firm said that the Mobile Taobao app—a consumer group platform—is driving the social commerce, and is much more than just a sales and distribution channel for sellers. It added that sellers prefer to use Tmall to engage and build relations with buyers.
Apart from this, it also said that it completed its investment in Youku Tudou in April this year. Through this, it ‘will be able to offer a multi-channel content distribution platform that may delight and entertain users on PCs, mobile devices, and in the living room as well.’ The firm also brought a controlling stake in Lazada, which is a leading platform in Southeast Asia—for almost $1 bn. It plans to use this to boost its global efforts to access 560 mn consumers in this region.
The online finance arm Ant Financial Services Group said on Thursday that it has hired ex-Goldman Sachs Group Inc banker Douglas Feagin as a senior vice president, in charge of the unit’s global business. The move gives the Chinese internet finance firm’s upper ranks an experienced hand in global finance. It is effective from June 15, 2016, Ant said in a statement.