Alibaba, Like China’s Economy, Keeps Trending Up

The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group released its Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Report on Friday, detailing the company’s performance, developments, and milestones during the 12 months ending March 31 — including how it reached $1 trillion in gross merchandise volume for the first time. Alibaba’s net income rose 75 percent from the previous year to $20 billion (140 billion yuan), while revenue rose 35 percent from the last financial year. Its body of active users crept up to 700 million, which is roughly half the population of China.

The annual filing also revealed that Jack Ma, the co-founder of Alibaba Group, has cut his stake in the company over the past year from 6.2 to 4.8 percent, cashing out around $8.2 billion shares at their current price. The divestment comes as Ma retired from his position as the company’s executive chairman in September, pulling back from a formal business role to focus on philanthropy.


Photo: Alibaba’s 2020 Annual Report

Alibaba, which is the parent company of Taobao and Tmall, celebrated its 20th anniversary this past year, and the trajectories of Alibaba and China have become inextricably linked. The business Jack Ma founded is now building a digital infrastructure that encompasses commerce, finance, logistics, and big data powered by cloud computing.

“Even in a highly uncertain world, we can always find some certainty,” said current Alibaba Chairman and CEO, Daniel Zhang, in a letter to shareholders. “We know without a doubt that the ongoing digital transformation of our economy and society will be unstoppable.” According to Alizila, Alibaba’s official news site, this is Daniel Zhang’s fifth year since taking over as Alibaba’s CEO, and the company’s market cap is now five times larger than when he took over.


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