Alibaba denies sharp slowdown in sales: report

Plausible deniability: Alibaba has denied an executive's report that the slowing China economy is having a negative impact on its sales growth. — AFP

Plausible deniability: Alibaba has denied an executive’s report that the slowing China economy is having a negative impact on its sales growth. — AFP

SHANGHAI: E-commerce giant Alibaba has denied its sales volume growth has slowed into single digits because of China’s faltering economy, the official Xinhua news agency reported, after comments by an executive raised worries over performance.

The company dismissed media reports that turnover on its hugely popular online platforms would grow less than 10% for the quarter ending in September, Xinhua said.

An Alibaba spokeswoman described the Xinhua report as accurate but made no further comment.

It came after Alibaba investor relations chief Jane Penner said gross merchandise volume (GMV) – a measure of value for online sales – for the current quarter came in lower than the company had forecast, Bloomberg News reported.

 “We are observing some negative impact to the magnitude of the spending,” Bloomberg quoted Penner as telling the Citi Global Technology Conference in New York.

“We believe that our September quarter GMV will be mid-single-digits lower than our initial expectations.”

New York Stock Exchange-listed Alibaba’s stock price tumbled on Sept 8, but it closed up 5.14% to US$64.04 (RM278.26) on Sept 9.

Alibaba’s GMV in the quarter ended in June jumped 34% year-on-year to 673bil yuan (RM456.18bil) – then valued at US$109bil (RM471.80bil) – according to the company.

Alibaba executive vice chairman Joe Tsai told Xinhua that the stock price should reflect the company’s actual performance.

“Comments about the Chinese economy will not affect our confidence in allowing our performance to speak for the company,” he said.

China’s economy has slowed further this year, expanding 7.0% in each of the first two quarters, after its growth for last year hit a 24-year low of 7.3%.

Alibaba’s Taobao platform holds more than 90% of the consumer-to-consumer market in China, and its Tmall platform is believed to command more than half the Chinese market for business-to-consumer transactions. — AFP

Source: The Star Online

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