​Mobile revenue boosts Alibaba's Q4 revenue to 24 trillion yuan

Chinese giant Alibaba Group has reported total revenue of 24 trillion yuan for the three months ended March 31, thanks mostly to its mobile revenue.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

For the three months ended March 31, 2016, Alibaba Group has announced total revenue of 24 trillion yuan ($3.7 trillion), a year-on-year increase of 39 percent, giving the ecommerce giant its highest growth rate over the past four quarters.

With mobile monthly average users growing to 410 million within the quarter, mobile revenue was up 149 percent to 13 trillion yuan, accounting for 54 percent of Alibaba's total quarterly revenue.

71 percent of China's commerce retail revenue was generated through mobile, up from 40 percent in the same quarter of 2015.

The company's annual active buyers on its retail marketplaces in China increased by 16 million in the quarter to 423 million, with Alibaba also experiencing 24 percent, or 142 billion yuan, growth in its gross merchandise volume (GMV) to 742 billion yuan.

The conglomerate's cloud computing business also experienced growth with revenue increasing 175 percent year-over-year to just over 1 trillion yuan, with more than 500,000 paying customers.

"Our focus on long-term strategic priorities -- globalisation, rural expansion, building a world-class cloud computing business, and creating a comprehensive media and entertainment platform -- has laid a strong foundation for future growth," Daniel Zhang, Alibaba Group CEO, said.

Speaking of the results, Alibaba Group executive vice chairman Joe Tsai said that although the global economy is going through challenging times, his company is bucking the trend.

He said Alibaba has an incredible track record of making long-term bets successful such as kicking off its Taobao platform in 2003, a time Tsai said when online shopping in China was virtually non-existent.

"Chinese consumers, with their healthy balance sheets and ability to spend, will propel China's shift from an export and investment-led economy to a consumption-driven economy," Tsai said.

"Alibaba rides on top of this secular tide as we enable more products and services, be it domestic or import, to reach the consumer."

Looking at the big picture, Tsai said that China has 688 million internet users, of which, 620 million users access the internet using a mobile device.

"75 percent of Chinese internet users are younger than 40 years old -- the internet is the future because young people are on it," he said. "I don't know about you but I am extremely excited by this."

For the nine months ended December 31, 2015, Alibaba Group reported a 23 percent increase in total revenue year-over-year, achieving 77 billion yuan ($11.7 billion) for the period, up from 58.8 million yuan reported over the same nine month period in 2014.

With cash at hand, Alibaba group has not been light on investments over the past 12 months.

Last month, the conglomerate acquired a controlling stake in Southeast Asian ecommerce operator Lazada Group in a deal aimed at beefing up its international presence.

Worth $1 billion, the deal would see Alibaba forking out some $500 million for new shares and another $500 million to take over shares from some existing shareholders.

In February, the Chinese giant purchased just shy of 33 million Class A common stock from Nasdaq-listed Groupon. Alibaba paid $101,224,000 for its stake, which equates to just over $3 per share for a reported 5.6 percent holding.

On the same day, Alibaba purchased 6 million shares from microblogging site Weibo for an approximate $1.1 million, and 740,000 shares in software firm Momo Inc.

The ecommerce giant led a $793.5 million funding round for augmented reality startup Magic Leap; injected $4.63 billion into Chinese retail chain Suning for a 19.99 percent stake; invested $248.88 million for a 10.35 percent stake in Singapore's telecommunications and postal service, SingPost; and in August increased its stake to 66 percent following a $206.45 million investment.

Alibaba pumped $600 million into Travice Inc, the Chinese operator of taxi app Kuaidi Dache in January this year; took a $590 million minority stake in home-grown smartphone manufacturer, Meizu; previously invested $194 million for an undisclosed stake in China Business News; and also sank $118 million into Softbank Robotics Holdings

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