Alibaba's cloud business has crossed 1 million paying customers for the first time in its latest quarter, where revenue for the unit climbs 96 percent to hit 2.43 billion yuan (US$359 million).
For the quarter ended June 30, the Chinese internet giant said it saw an increase of 137,000 paying cloud customers, pushing its total customer base to 1.01 million. This fuelled overall growth for the business unit as well as improved mix of revenue from higher value-added services, which further drove up ARPU (average revenue per user), Alibaba said in a statement Thursday.
Its current cloud clientele included China's CITIC Group, China Huaneng Group, and PICC Finance.
To sustain the growth momentum, it said it would continue to focus on market expansion and customer acquisition. Alibaba Cloud this year announced plans to open data centers in Malaysia, Indonesia, and India, expanding its international footprint to 14 countries and regions. It also unveiled new product offerings, including Cloud Storage Gateway and Lightning Cube, touted to help traditional businesses migrate large-scale data to the cloud.
Across the organisation, Alibaba reported a 56 percent year-on-year growth in revenue to 50.184 billion yuan (US$7.4b billion) for the quarter. Its e-commerce business grew 58 percent to hit 43.03 billion yuan (US$6.35 billion), while digital media and entertainment saw a 30 percent increase in revenue to 4.08 billion yuan (US$602 million).
It reported net income of 14.03 billion yuan (US$2.07 billion) for the quarter.
Annual active consumers on its online marketplaces, which included Tmall and Taobao, grew 12 million to 466 million for the year ended March 31, 2017. Monthly active users on mobile totalled 529 million in June, up by 22 million from March 2017.
Revenue from its international e-commerce businesses chalked up 2.64 billion yuan (US$389 million) for the quarter, growing 136 percent year-on-year. This was fuelled largely by its Southeast Asian online retail platform, Lazada, as well as its own international e-commerce brand AliExpress.
Alibaba acquired a controlling stake in Lazada for US$1 billion last year and committed another US$1 billion investment this June, as part of its efforts to grow its e-commerce footprint in the Southeast Asian region.