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Alibaba shows who's king with new growth in rural China

Vendors fear e-commerce giant will press them to ditch and Pinduoduo

NEW YORK/SHANGHAI -- Alibaba Group Holding blew past analysts' expectations for its April-June performance thanks to penetration into less-developed areas, showcasing the e-commerce behemoth's resilience in a challenging macro environment.

While the saturation of urban e-commerce markets has cast a shadow on the outlook for Alibaba's heretofore meteoric growth, the company has been steadily eating away at the market share of second-ranked and No. 3 player Pinduoduo. Alibaba's online retail operations, which generate nearly all its profits, reported 674 million annual active consumers on its China retail marketplaces as of June 30 -- up nearly 20% from a year earlier.

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