Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd today reported a weaker-than-expected rise in quarterly revenue as COVID-19 restrictions and a deteriorating economic outlook dampened consumer spending.
Retail spending in China has fallen this year following the government’s strict zero-COVID policies, which led to frequent rapid lockdowns and hurt economic activity.
Alibaba has also had to contend with stiff competition from the likes of Pinduoduo and ByteDance’s Douyin (China’s version of Tiktok), which have expanded their e-commerce offerings and captured more market share.
The company has yet to fully recover from a regulatory crackdown on the tech industry that has curtailed growth opportunities.
Revenue rose 3 percent to 207.18 billion yuan ($28.96 billion) in the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with a consensus estimate of 208.62 billion yuan by 25 analysts from Refinitiv.
Alibaba, which operates China’s largest online marketplaces Tmall and Taobao and has businesses ranging from logistics to cloud services, posted a net loss attributable to shareholders of 20.56 billion yuan in the quarter.
Excluding one-time items, Alibaba earned 12.92 yuan per ADS.
The quarter was also lackluster. Last week, the company did not disclose sales figures for its “Singles Day” shopping festival for the first time, saying only that the results were in line with last year, which was its slowest increase ever.
Alibaba’s financial subsidiary Ant Group is still undergoing a government-mandated restructuring and has yet to resume plans for its public market debut after a last-minute $37 billion dual listing attempt derailed in late 2020.
Ant Financial, in which Alibaba holds a 33 percent stake, recorded a profit of 7.72 billion yuan in the quarter ended June, down 63.2 percent year-on-year. Alibaba reported being behind on a quarter of its profits from Ant Group.
In its earnings report, the company said it would increase its share repurchase program by another $15 billion and extend it through the end of fiscal 2025.
Under its existing $25 billion share repurchase program, the company said it had repurchased about $18 billion in stock as of Nov. 16.
Alibaba said it would not complete its first share conversion to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange before the end of 2022, as it originally announced in August.
(Aside from the title, this story is unedited by NDTV staff and published via a syndicated feed.)
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