What's going on?
All work and no play makes Jack a rich boy: Chinese conglomerate Alibaba reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings on Thursday.
What does this mean?
Alibaba’s revenue from its main ecommerce business came in 29% higher than the same time last year. That’s down from last quarter’s 34%, sure, but it was still in line with analysts’ expectations. Alibaba’s cloud computing business did well too, growing its revenue by 60% for the second quarter in a row – good news considering the company’s aiming to make the segment its biggest money-spinner in future. Still, it’ll take more than a few good results to distract Alibaba’s investors from what could’ve been: fintech giant Ant Group was supposed to start trading on Thursday, and Alibaba’s stake in the company was all set to become a whole lot more valuable (tweet this).
Why should I care?
For markets: Wuh-uh-oh, uh-uh-oh-oh.
Good thing Singles’ Day – the world’s biggest one-day shopping event – is just around the corner. The event’s a crucial one for Alibaba’s current quarter, with sales across its multiple shopping platforms hitting nearly $40 billion last year. The tech giant, then, might be stocking up on foreign brands to help it reach those dizzying heights: it’s expecting to see a major boost for the products would-be Chinese tourists usually buy overseas, but now – well, you know…
Zooming out: Party poopers.
It was China’s regulators that were behind Ant Group’s postponed initial public offering, and the Alibaba spin-off is in good company. US regulators – having concluded last month that Big Tech is just too big – recently filed a lawsuit against Google, while the European Commission is expected to announce new digital regulations in early December. It’s hoping they’ll make tech giants more responsible for the content posted on their platforms, as keep them from standing in the way of fair competition.