Published: Fri, August 18, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Alibaba invests in Indonesian e-commerce, receives Chinese warning on VPNs

Alibaba invests in Indonesian e-commerce, receives Chinese warning on VPNs

Alibaba, which has made billionaire founder Jack Ma one of China's richest men and a global e-commerce icon, has seen its New York-listed shares soar 80 percent since last December on perennially robust earnings. This easily surpassed the average estimate by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters of 47.70 billion yuan, or a 48.4% increase on the year. Thereby, the company was benefiting from more Chinese consumers buying an increasing proportion of everything from food to clothing to luxury items online. Alibaba's shares rose Thursday to an all-time high.

The company reported a 58 per cent rise in its core commerce operations to 43 billion yuan, while cloud revenue nearly doubled to 2.4 billion yuan as the number of paying customers for the business surpassed one million. The increases were mainly driven by the robust revenue growth of its China commerce retail business and Alibaba Cloud, as well as the expansion of its worldwide customer base through Southeast Asian platform Lazada, the company said. "Alibaba is well poised to maintain its leadership position in China's e-commerce and digital ad market", Shum said. Paying customers surpassed the 1 million mark for the first time compared to 577,000 a year ago.

Chief Executive Daniel Zhang also confirmed the company led a $1.1 billion investment in Southeast Asian retailer Tokopedia, adding to its expanding network of assets in the region.

Alibaba, though, has yet to prove the value of several recent large-scale offline investments, according to analysts, including a $2.6 billion infusion into department store chain Intime Retail Group Co Ltd. "We are excited about the future as we continue to innovate and drive synergies among the businesses throughout the Alibaba ecosystem".

According to company figures, Alibaba's mobile monthly active users on its China retail marketplaces grew to 529 million in June, an increase of 22 million over March of this year.

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