The iconic Chinese company has announced a return to growth in the domestic market, thanks to investments in e-commerce and the new AI-powered Alibaba Cloud.

Over the last couple of years, we have been reporting on the state of the global hair & beauty market. The huge Chinese market fared differently from other areas, as it continued to deal with the aftermath of the Covid pandemic. This caused the country’s isolation and big repercussions for its domestic economy. Considering that China is the second biggest economy in the world, it is easy to understand that this did not help the recovery of the global markets. Recently, some more encouraging data have been published – in particular from the Alibaba Group, which has been symbolic of China’s long and steady growth over the past 2 decades.

Alibaba Group’s fourth-quarter revenue grew 7% year-over-year to RMB221.87 billion ($30.73 billion), edging ahead of forecasts involving its core e-commerce and cloud businesses.
Revenue for the three months ended March 31 outpaced Bloombergs estimate of approximately RMB219.80 billion, while revenue for the 2024 fiscal year rose 8% year-over-year to RMB941.17 billion.
Weve seen early results from increased investment in our strategic business priorities and are confident in our business outlook,” said Toby Xu, Chief Financial Officer of Alibaba Group.

Alibaba increased its expenditure on the Alibaba Cloud infrastructure and its Chinese and cross-border e-commerce businesses, leading to double-digit growth across key metrics including gross merchandise value (GMV).
This quarters results demonstrate that our strategies are working and we are returning to growth,” said Eddie Wu, Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group.
The company also announced a $4.0 billion dividend distribution to continuously enhance shareholder return.

Our China and international commerce businesses realized double-digit year-over-year GMV growth through our focus on the customer experience,” said Wu. He also emphasized that 2024 would be a year of strategic upgrades and significant investment into the core businesses, and it has started to bear fruit.

Besides e-commerce – Alibaba’s core business – one new ingredient fuelling the Hangzhou E-commerce giant’s performance is the AI-propelled Alibaba Cloud. Quarterly revenue from the company’s Cloud Intelligence Group rose 3% to RMB25.60 billion, driven by the double-digit growth of its public cloud business.
Alibaba Cloud’s public cloud offerings are available online for organizations and individuals alike and include elastic computing, database, and AI products and services. The company saw triple-digit growth in AI-related revenue in the fourth quarter.

We are excited by the accelerated growth of customers and cloud computing revenues related to our AI products. We will remain focused on our strategic priorities and capture future growth opportunities,” added Wu.
Over 90,000 enterprises have adopted Alibaba Cloud’s Qwen large language model (LLM) since it debuted a year ago, on top of more than 7 million downloads on open-source platforms like Github.

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