Alibaba achieves 3 trillion yuan transaction volume milestone

Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba is one step closer to snatching the crown of world's largest retailer from Walmart Stores.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd on Monday announced that it sold goods worth more than 3 trillion yuan ($462 billion) in the fiscal year ending this month, a milestone for the Chinese ecommerce giant which owns the popular Taobao and Tmall online marketplace platforms.

The new record was set with 10 days remaining in the fiscal year ending March 2016, representing growth of some 23 percent from the 2.44 trillion yuan in gross merchandise volume (GMV) it had achieved for the previous year.

"Back in 2012, we achieved 1 trillion yuan in GMV. Then, it seemed tripling our GMV would be a tall order and, a bit more than three years later, here we are," Alibaba's vice chairman Joseph Tsai said in a Monday blog post on Alizila -- an official blog operated by the company.

"If the platforms we operate were a province, we would rank as the 6th largest provincial economy in China," Tsai said in the blog.

The Chinese online sales platform is also expected to soon surpass Walmart Stores as the world's largest retail platform, with the latter having posted net sales of $478.6 billion for its fiscal year to January 31 this year, according to a Sohu report on Tuesday.

However, despite Alibaba's GMV rising 23 percent in the third quarter ended December 31, 2015 from the same quarter of the previous year, it is the slowest quarterly growth rate in more than three years for the company.

But the Chinese technology giant has set a much higher target by vowing to double the current annual trading volume to 6 trillion yuan by 2020, according to a Sina news report that cited Zhang Yong, the company's CEO.

Tsai said Alibaba's "Rural Taobao Initiative" is already bearing fruit as its business coverage has already expanded to more than 12,000 of China's 600,000 villages. Transaction volume on Alibaba's online platforms has accounted for over 10 percent of total trading amount in the country, and the Alibaba ecosystem has created over 15 million jobs so far, according to the Sina news report.

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