Alibaba reported its quarterly financial results yesterday and the stock price soared. Here are some of the most interesting data points and stories.
Growth. Alibaba posted revenue growth of 56% year over year (!), higher than expected, and, btw, over 2X Amazon’s quarterly yoy growth. Growth in number of new buyers and positive effects of personalization are quoted as the main drivers of the growth. (Ah! Take that macro economists who said Chinese economy is slowing down!).
Alibaba is pushing its “new retailstrategy” which echoes Amazon’s latest moves: In June 2017 Alibaba completed its takeover of Intime Retail for $1.6B. Intime is a department store and mall operator in China with 49 department stores and shopping malls. An even more interesting move is Alibaba’s incubation of Hema stores: on-line & off-line fresh food stores where people can shop for fresh food in person, or order it on line and get it home within 30min. This is probably Bezos’ vision for Wholefoods but Ma has been building Hema quietly for almost two years already. (who is copying who now?)
Cloud computing revenue grew 96% year over year. AliCloud crossed the one million paying costumers milestone and improved the segment’s margin — though it isn’t profitable yet.(亞馬遜網絡服務 — that’s AWS in Chinese, per Google Translate).
Cash: The company created $3.3B USD in free cash flow in the quarter and reached a total cash balance of $22B USD.
Something cool: Recovery of missing children. The “Reunion” platform that helps locate missing children across China celebrated its first anniversary in May 2017. The Reunion platform is an ecosystem of connected Alibaba and partner mobile apps that provides the infrastructure for law enforcement authorities to receive crowdsourced information from the public to more effectively conduct searches for missing children. Per Alibaba’s reports, the platform had successfully located 1,274 missing children since inception in May 2016, with a 97% success rate. (How cool is that??)