Alibaba (阿里巴巴), the Hangzhou-based e-commerce giant announced its strong-than-expected financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended March 31, 2019 on Wednesday.
In the fourth quarter, Alibaba revenue surged 51 percent year-on-year to CNY93.50 billion (USD 13.50 billion). Its revenue for the 2019 fiscal year topped at CNY 376.84 billion (USD 54.78 billion). The total GMV of China retail marketplaces was CNY 5,727 billion (USD 853 billion), a year-over-year 19 percentage increase.
Tencent (腾讯), the archrival of Alibaba in China’s internet industry, also released its quarter and its 2019 fiscal report earlier this day. In contrast with Alibaba’s momentum, Tencent shows a slow-down in the revenue growth rate.
The good performance of Alibaba was mainly driven by the robust revenue growth of its China commerce retail business and the consolidation of Ele.me (through which Alibaba tied up with Starbucks, the biggest coffee chains in China), as well as strong revenue growth of Alibaba Cloud.
According to the report, Alibaba had 721 million mobile MAUs in China retail marketplaces, representing an annual and quarterly net increase of 104 million and 22 million, respectively. Annual active consumers on our China retail marketplaces was 654 million for the 12 months, representing an annual and quarterly net increase of 102 million and 18 million, respectively. This robust growth reflects successful user acquisition programs, such as referrals through the Alipay app (see more on mobile payment competition between Alipay and Tenpay), and has been a leading indicator of increased consumption activities on our platforms. In fiscal year 2019, more than 70 percent of the increase in annual active consumers was from less developed cities.
If we compared the four segments of Alibaba's business, the core commerce segment remains the biggest segment to generate revenue, followed by cloud computing, digital media & entertainment, and innovation initiatives and others. Although in a state of loss, cloud computing ranked first in the growth rate of all segments.
Cloud computing revenue grew 76 percent year-on-year to CNY 7,726 million (USD 1,151 million) during the March 2019 quarter, as the group continues to challenge the global market dominance of Amazon's AWS and Microsoft's Azure.
In the fiscal year 2019, Alibaba Cloud served more than half of the A-share listed companies in China. We will continue to invest to further expand our market share by developing value-added products and features.
“Our cloud and data technology and tremendous traction in New Retail have enabled us to continuously transform the way businesses operate in China and other emerging markets, which will contribute to our long-term growth,” said Daniel Zhang (张勇), Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group.