Alibaba Revenue Growth Slows Down as Crackdown Persists

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LONDON — China’s e-commerce leader Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. on Tuesday reported mixed results for the quarter ended June 30, as the firm has been the main target of China’s ongoing regulatory crackdown on the tech sector.

Revenue in the period increased by 34 percent year-over-year to 205.74 billion renminbi, or $31.83 billion, below estimates of 209.39 billion renminbi, according to data from Refinitiv. In comparison, revenue jumped 64 percent year-over-year in the March quarter.

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Core commerce revenue for Alibaba rose about 35 percent to 180.24 billion renminbi in the quarter, compared with estimates of 184.23 billion renminbi.

Net income in the period was 45.1 billion renminbi, or $6.99 billion, slipped from 47.6 billion renminbi it earned a year earlier. Income from operations was down 11 percent to 30.84 billion renminbi, or $4.77 billion, year-over-year.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization came in at 48.6 billion renminbi, or $7.53 billion, a decrease of 5 percent year-over-year but ahead of the 46.7 billion renminbi expected by Wall Street.

Alibaba said the decreases were primarily due to its investments in strategic areas “to capture incremental opportunities,” such as community marketplaces, and Lazada, which recorded more than 90 percent year-over-year order growth in the period, as well as increased spending on growth initiatives within China retail marketplaces, such as Taobao Live and second-hand item trading platform Idle Fish.

In the period, global annual active consumers across the Alibaba ecosystem reached 1.18 billion, an increase of 45 million from the March quarter, which includes 912 million consumers in China.

While the growth has slowed, Daniel Zhang, chairman and chief executive officer of Alibaba Group, said the company still believes “in the growth of the Chinese economy and long-term value creation of Alibaba, and we will continue to strengthen our technology advantage in improving the consumer experience and helping our enterprise customers to accomplish successful digital transformations.”

In an attempt to assure investors, the group’s chief financial officer Maggie Wu added that the company will increase its share repurchase program from $10 billion to $15 billion, as Alibaba is “confident of our long-term growth prospects.”

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