Alibaba just keeps growing, shrugging off Trump's trade war and China's slowing economy

(Photo by Andrew Burton, Getty Images)Jack Ma lists Alibaba on the New York Stock Exchange
  • Chinese retail giant Alibaba has released its quarterly results showing that customers are still flocking despite an ailing domestic economy and an ongoing US-China trade war.
  • The platform has managed to add 121 million active monthly users since the same time last year and added nearly 100 million new active customers. In total, that means there are an astounding 674 million people who actively shop on Alibaba each year.
  • That strong growth has been achieved despite slowing retail figures more broadly, as the US-China trade war dampens demand for the country’s exports.

Chinese shoppers don’t appear to be paying much attention to fears of an imminent slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy. At least if Alibaba’s latest numbers are anything to go by.

The enormous e-commerce company managed to add 98 million customers to its book over the last 12 months, as demand continues to grow for Chinese goods.

“Alibaba had a great quarter, expanding our user base to 674 million annual active consumers, demonstrating our superior user experience,” Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang said in the company’s latest results.

A great quarter it was. The marketplace managed to add another 121 million monthly active users as well, bolstering its yearly figures to 755 million.

It made US$16.7 billion in quarterly revenue, 42% more than the same period last year. Net profit came in at $US3.1 billion.

That kind of growth, if it continues, puts Alibaba on track to start talking in a few short years about ‘billions’ of users instead of mere ‘millions’.

But will it be able to keep going?

Retail sales are still growing strongly at 8.3% a year but that rate of growth is continuing to slow.

The trade war is taking its toll, even with the Trump administration delaying a 10% tariff increases on Chinese goods until December this year.

The impasse that trade negotiations hit in May has helped sink Alibaba’s stock price from around $US195 a share to closer to $US160.

The latest results, however, were enough to see shares jump more than 3% on Thursday in the US.

Investors for now at least seem confident that little will stop Alibaba’s rise.

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