Alibaba posted strong results in the fourth quarter of 2015, despite the slowdown in the Chinese economy. The revenue for the Chinese ecommerce giant was RMB34,543 million (USD 5,333 million), an increase of 32 per cent year-over-year. The China retail marketplace revenue was RMB28,714 million (US$4,433 million), an increase of 35 per cent yearover-year; and mobile revenue was RMB18,746 million (US$2,894 million), an increase of 192 per cent.
There was a increase of 21 million annual active buyers in this quarter on Alibaba’s China retail marketplaces as it increased to 407 million, while mobile MAUs in December reached 393 million, an increase of 47 million over the prior quarter.
“Alibaba Group had an outstanding quarter, reaching a milestone of over 400 million annual active buyers and continuing our unrivaled leadership in mobile. Our proven ability to deliver an unparalleled consumer experience and to help merchants attract, engage and retain buyers will drive future growth in our core business. We remain focused on our top strategic priorities, including global imports, rural expansion, increasing our footprint in first-tier Chinese cities and building a world-class cloud computing business,” said Daniel Zhang, Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group.
Mr Zhang explained in the earnings call that he attributed the growth of the company to the expanding middle class in China. “We believe Alibaba has a significant opportunity that will be realised by the growth of the Chinese consumption economy. Specifically, we see increased consumption from the two key segments: number one, an expanding middle-class, particularly those living in urban areas who are undergoing lifestyle change and upgrading to higher-quality products and services; number two, young people who have strong appetite for spending but little interest in saving compared to their parents,” he added.
Maggie Wu, Chief Financial Officer of Alibaba Group, said, “We had excellent results this quarter. We achieved impressive revenue growth as we are increasingly monetising the user activity on our marketplaces, particularly on mobile devices. In this quarter, revenue grew 32 per cent year-over-year and China retail marketplace revenue grew 35 per cent year-over-year. Meanwhile, we generated strong free cash flow of US$3.7 billion this quarter. The fundamental strength of our core business gives us the confidence to invest in our strategic priorities.”