Business

Alibaba lifts sales forecast on shoppers' spree

Single's Day Image copyright Getty Images

China's equivalent of Black Friday helped send Alibaba's sales soaring, prompting the e-commerce giant to lift its full-year forecasts.

Sales from Singles' Day, held on 11 November each year, rose to 120.7bn yuan (£13.9bn) from 91.2bn a year earlier.

Alibaba also reported rising numbers of customers shopping on mobiles and paying to use cloud computing.

The firm expects annual sales to grow by 53% from a previous forecast of 48%.

Trump meeting

In the three months to December, total revenue rose by 54%. Alibaba said 114,000 more people signed up to use its cloud computing services, taking the total to 765,000 customers and lifting revenue in the division by 115%.

The company also said it had been working to clamp down on counterfeit products being sold on its platform and had recently formed a coalition with major brands such as Louis Vuitton, Samsung and Swarovski to stamp out trading in fake goods.

Jack Ma, the founder and chairman of Alibaba, recently held a meeting with US president Donald Trump. While President Trump has been critical of China, he said he had a "great meeting" with Mr Ma, who chose to float Alibaba on the New York Stock Exchange.

Mr Ma reportedly discussed a plan to permit one million small American businesses to sell goods on Alibaba's platform.

Håkon Helgesen, retail analyst at Conlumino, said: "The international side continues to do well. Here, Alibaba's role as a facilitator for Western brands wanting to sell into China continues to be a major advantage and a significant source of growth.

"In short, Alibaba provides a shortcut for retailers looking to expand and grow in China."

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