Written byRamya Patelkhana ·
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group posted stronger-than-expected third-quarter results with a massive jump in revenue as the online shopping boom continues in China.
Its revenues between July and September rose to 55.1bn Yuan ($8.3bn), a 61% surge compared to the same period last year.
Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang stated they had an "outstanding quarter."
The group also boosted its 2018 revenue estimates.
Zhang said, "Our consumer insights and technology innovation were the key drivers behind our customer value proposition across the Alibaba economy." The Chinese giant takes on Amazon's dominance as it continues to expand its online shopping presence and invest in cloud computing and artificial intelligence.
Alibaba, co-founded by billionaire Jack Ma, is China's biggest e-tailer with Tmall and Taobao platforms.
It has been expanding from core online businesses to stores and supermarkets.
CEO Zhang said they see good early results from their online-offline integration "New Retail" strategy.
Also, customers have benefited from this strategy as they could access high-quality products, improved customer experience, and convenience of "shopping anytime, anywhere".
Alibaba said annual active customers on its China marketplaces reached 488-million, up 22% from last year. It had 549-million monthly active users (MAUs) on its mobile platform for the July-September period, an increase of 20-million from the quarter that ended in June.
Revenue from Alibaba's core commerce rose 63% YoY to 46.5bn Yuan ($7bn), accounting for most of its total revenue.
Operations revenue surged 83% YoY to 16.58bn Yuan ($2.5bn) while digital media and entertainment income jumped 33% YoY to 4.8bn Yuan ($721mn).
Income from cloud computing business climbed 99% to 3bn Yuan ($447million). Revenue from innovation initiatives and others rose 27% to 887mn Yuan ($134mn).
Alibaba's Chief Financial Officer, Maggie Wu, stated: "We generated approximately $3.4 billion in non-GAAP free cash flow during the quarter, which enables us to invest in our future growth areas of core commerce, including logistics, cloud computing, digital entertainment and other innovation initiatives."
Alibaba said it expects more good news for shareholders while predicting a rise of 49-53%, up from previously forecast 45-49%, in its 2018 annual revenue.
This comes after it invested an additional $803-million in its logistics affiliate Cainiao Network to acquire a 51% majority stake.
The firm is on a roll, beating analysts' revenue estimates. Alibaba's share value also more than doubled in 2017.
Alibaba's quarterly results come amid its preparations for the annual global "Singles' Day" online shopping event on 11 November.
The Chinese firm is gearing for the yearly shopping bonanza, which sees more sales than the US's Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping days combined.
It is the world's largest online shopping festival by value. Last year, Singles' Day hit $17.8bn-worth sales in 24 hours.
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