In Shops

Alibaba posts a 54% rise in third-quarter revenue, helped by shopping event

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd on Tuesday posted a 54 percent rise in third-quarter revenue, beating analyst estimates, helped by higher sales during its Single’s Day shopping event and increased earnings in its cloud and digital media ventures.The company said it would be raising its 2017 full-year guidance for revenue growth from 48 percent to 54 percent.

Alibaba is seeking new revenue streams with a series of data, cloud, artificial intelligence and logistics projects as China’s e-commerce market begins to show signs of saturation.Earlier this month, it submitted a $2.6 billion bid to privatize Chinese department store operator Intime Retail Group Co Ltd, saying it intended to use data to digitize offline shopping.

In recent months, executives including Chairman Jack Ma have identified Alibaba as a data company, downplaying the strategic role of e-commerce in its future.

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In a statement on Tuesday chief executive Daniel Zhang said they will invest in “big data and innovation to provide a seamless online and offline experience for nearly half a billion mobile monthly active users.”

Revenue from Alibaba’s core e-commerce business made up 87 percent of total revenue in the three months to Dec. 31, down from 92 percent in the same period a year prior.

Alibaba said overall third-quarter revenue hit 53.2 billion yuan ($7.76 billion) versus an average analyst forecast of 50.1 billion yuan according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Alibaba has been growing its international operations, opening data centers in a number of countries.

In the United States, Ma met then president-elect Donald Trump earlier this month and promised to add a million small U.S. businesses to Alibaba platforms over the five years.

Yet weeks earlier, Alibaba was forced to limit damage to its image after its Taobao shopping website was returned to a U.S. blacklist of sites peddling counterfeit goods. Meanwhile, U.S. regulators are probing Alibaba’s accounting practices.

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