Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba has reported revenue of $21.76bn, a 34% year-on-year increase, as the pandemic’s stay at home measures fuelled demand for online shopping.

For the quarter ended 30 June, Alibaba saw its core ecommerce business bring in $14.3bn in revenues, up 34% from the year-ago period.

Adjusted earnings rose 15% to $2.10 per share for the fiscal first quarter. Alibaba’s results beat expectations, with Wall Street forecasting earnings of $1.99 on revenue of $21.3bn.

The largest ecommerce company in China saw the number of consumers active on its marketplaces increase by 16 million to 742 million from the 12-month period ended 31 March 2020.

International commerce revenues, which includes Aliexpress.com and Lazada, were $992m, a 26% increase from the year-ago quarter.

Mobile users also increased over the period, with the number of monthly active mobile users across its various retail marketplaces hitting 874 million in June, an increase of 28 million since previous results in March.

“We were well-positioned to capture growth from the ongoing digital transformation, which has been accelerated by the pandemic, in both consumption and enterprise operations,” said Daniel Zhang, chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group.

“We mobilised our entire digital infrastructure to support the economic recovery of businesses across a wide range of sectors, while broadening and diversifying our consumer base by addressing their changing preferences in a post-Covid-19 environment.”

Alibaba “fully recovers” to pre-Covid levels

Alibaba’s cloud computing division, the largest public cloud service provider in China, reported revenues of $1.75bn for the quarter, a 59% year-over-year increase. This was mainly driven by “increased revenue contribution from both our public cloud and hybrid cloud businesses”, Alibaba said, “reflecting higher average revenue per customer”.

Alibaba-owed Youku, a video sharing platform, saw its average daily subscriber count increase by 60% year-over-year.

Maggie Wu, chief financial officer, said that Alibaba’s domestic core commerce business has “fully recovered to pre-Covid-19 levels across the board”.

Alibaba’s earnings come as Chinese technology companies come under pressure from President Donald Trump, who has signed executive orders banning Chinese video-sharing app TikTok and messaging app WeChat from doing business with US companies. In an earnings call, Zhang told investors that “Alibaba’s primary commercial focus in the US is to support American brands, retailers, small businesses and farmers to sell to consumers and trade partners in China as well as other key markets around the world”.

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