On May 18, 2023, Alibaba announced its 2023 first quarterly 2023 report. In Q1 2023, its international business performed well, including international retail exceeding expectations for the third consecutive quarter.
Alibaba Group Holding Limited (hereinafter referred to as "Alibaba", Chinese: 阿里巴巴, HK: 09988), headquartered in Hangzhou, recently released its first quarterly report. In Q1 2023, Alibaba achieved total operating revenue of CNY 208.20 billion (USD 29.62 billion), up 2% year-over-year, and non-GAAP net profit of CNY 27.38 billion, a 38% increase from the same period last year.
Founded in 1999, Alibaba is one of the world's leading Internet technology companies, and currently the world's largest online marketplace and business exchange community. Its businesses cover a wide range of areas including China Commerce, International Commerce, Local Consumer Services, Digital Media and Entertainment, Innovative Initiatives and Others, with products such as Taobao, TMALL, AliExpress, YOUKU, Quark, Alibaba Health, etc.
Globalization has been listed as one of the three strategies of Alibaba. On its business map, there are International Core Business Unit (ICBU), AliExpress, Southeast Asia e-commerce platform Lazada, Turkey e-commerce platform Trendyol, and South Asia e-commerce platform Daraz, to support the international business segment. In 2022, Alibaba.com logistics, launched by ICBU, covered over 220 countries and regions around the globe, with more than 26,000 capacity dedicated lines, to achieve transport by sea, by land, and by air. It also provides cross-border small and medium-sized merchants with nationalized, localized, industry-specific cross-border logistics solutions.
It is worth mentioning that in Q1 2023, Alibaba’s overall international retail business grew 15% in orders and 41% in revenue, exceeding expectations for 3 consecutive quarters. The three retail businesses, AliExpress, Lazada and Trendyol, were neck-and-neck, all achieving double-digit growth. During this quarter, AliExpress officially launched “Choice”, a new service based on a fully managed model that provides consumers with a cost-effective selection of products and better consumer service to further enhance the consumer experience. It has also become one of the main engines driving AliExpress' double-digit order growth since its launch.
In terms of R&D investment, Alibaba's total R&D investment in 2022 reached CNY 120 billion. According to the report released by All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce in 2022, Alibaba ranked second in the “China’s Top 1000 Private Companies' Innovation Status Report on R&D Investment". In 2023, the European Commission released the 2022 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard, where Alibaba RANKED 2nd in China and 17th in the world.
The major competitors of Alibaba include Chinese companies such as Baidu (Chinese: 百度), Tencent (Chinese: 腾讯) and ByteDance (Chinese: 字节跳动), as well as international players such as Google, Amazon and Apple from the US.
Based on current industry trends, Zhang Yong, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Alibaba Group and president of AliCloud, said “The current wave of artificial intelligence is an opportunity as important as the digital wave 20 years ago, and the industry is at a new historical starting point in the era of intelligence. Digitalization and intelligence will be the trend of future development." In April 2023, Ali Cloud, Ali's digital technology and intelligence backbone business, launched its latest language big model "Tongyi Qianwe". AliCloud plans to connect the new AI model to Alibaba's businesses in the near future to improve user experience.
As of press time, Baidu closed at USD 85.72 apiece, with a market cap of USD 221.72 billion.