Alibaba Posts Big Q2, But Sees Darker Times Ahead

Alibaba Group, the Hong Kong-listed e-commerce firm 39% owned by Yahoo (YHOO), said net profit rose 159% in Q2, helped by interest income on the proceeds from its huge IPO last fall.

But all is not well in China’s nascent e-commerce market, and CEO David Wei says the company, which facilitates trade between small and medium-sized firms, is seeing volumes slow. “For the next six months, conditions will get tougher,” he said, in a conference call.

Alibaba reaped $1.49 billion from its IPO in Hong Kong last fall, but its shares have fallen 76% since then. As of the end of June, Alibaba had 368,000 paying members, a 44% increase from last year.

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