Digital Transformation

Alibaba revenues up 39% as mobile drives significant growth in retail business

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By Charlotte McEleny | Asia Editor

May 5, 2016 | 3 min read

Alibaba is celebrating a positive annual results, with revenues increasing 39 per cent year-on-year, bolstered by an increase in mobile commerce and accelerated growth for its B2B cloud computing and ecommerce business.

The online retailer bucked economic trends, which has seen forecasts of a slowdown in the Chinese economy, increasing revenue from its China marketplace business by 41 per cent in the past year.

Overall revenue was RMB24,184m (US$3,751m), with RMB18,340m (US$2,844m) in revenue from China marketplaces.

A key driver for its success domestically and internationally has been the uptake in mobile commerce by its customers. Alibaba says mobile GMV now accounts for 73 per cent of the total, whereas this figure was 51 per cent during the same quarter in 2015.

Maggie Wu, chief financial officer of Alibaba Group, said: “With several consecutive quarters of increases in revenue per active buyer and revenue per mobile MAU, we showcase the resiliency and growing clout of Chinese consumers. This bodes well for our business as our annual active buyers on our China retail marketplaces increased to 423m.”

The Chinese internet giant also has a large cloud and B2B ecommerce business, which also saw accelerated growth. During the March quarter of 2016, Alibaba revenue from its cloud business increased 175 per cent year-over-year to RMB1,066m (US$165 million). The company said this was an acceleration of the 126 per cent year-over-year growth rate achieved in the prior quarter.

During this period Alibaba has made major investments across its business, most recently expanding into Southeast Asia via a majority stake acquisition in Lazada.It also completed its investment in video platform Youku Tudou and made major changes at South China Morning Post, a newspaper it owns, by removing the paywall.

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