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Rakuten profit jumps 64%, helped by ride-sharing investment

But Japanese e-commerce company's nine-month gross sales fall below Alibaba's one-day record

Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani speaking at an earnings briefing in Tokyo on Nov. 13. (Photo by Wataru Ito)

TOKYO -- Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten on Monday logged a net profit of 72.6 billion yen ($640 million) for the nine months ended September, up 64% on the year, backed by valuation gains on its investment in the ride-sharing business.

The announcement came after its Chinese peer Alibaba Group Holding on Saturday recorded a gross merchandise volume of 168.2 billion yuan ($25.3 billion)  on Singles' Day which fell on Nov. 11, about 40% above levels reached a year earlier. Rakuten's gross online merchandise sales in Japan for the nine months fell short of Alibaba's one-day sales, at 2.44 trillion yen.

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