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Retail Trade

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

Company Background

Alibaba Group, set up in 1999, is China's largest electronic commerce company. Its head office is in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. Having grown into an enterprise handling a wide variety of businesses ranging from cloud services and finance to media, besides e-commerce, the company listed on the New York Stock Exchange last year.


Founder Jack Ma, who first used the Internet in the U.S. in the mid-1990s, created in 1999 a website to support e-commerce. His company had initially focused on business-to-business transactions, before opening the Taobao online shopping site for individual users in 2003.


Thanks to the rapid spread of the Internet and expanding consumer spending in China, the users of Taobao soared at a fast pace. Today, for consumer-to-consumer deals and Tmall for business-to-consumer are two pillars of Alibaba's operations. The number of annual active buyers on Alibaba sites has reached 350 million.


Increasingly, more online shoppers are shifting to smartphones. Alibaba is been pushing ahead with efforts to attract smartphone users primarily by improving the convenience of the AliPay online payment system. As a result, the mobile monthly active users of its sites have reached close to 300 million in number. The company intends to enhance its financial business with Alipay at the center as well as to step up its cloud, information technology and big data businesses.


The company raised around $20 billion through its initial public offering in New York in 2014. It is acquiring other companies with the money raised. In August this year, Alibaba bought the majority of new shares issued by China's second biggest retailer, Suning Commerce Group, for 28.3 billion yuan, becoming the second largest shareholder in Suning. In China, Tencent and other local rivals are reinforcing strategies to erode Alibaba's dominance in e-commerce.


After failing to pass university entrance exams twice, Jack Ma once gave up going higher education and worked as a driver. A self-made man, he enjoys strong popularity among Chinese.

Business Summary

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. engages in providing online and mobile marketplaces in retail and wholesale trade. It operates through the following business segments: Core Commerce; Cloud Computing; Digital Media and Entertainment; and Innovation Initiatives and Others. The Core Commerce segment comprises of platforms operating in retail and wholesale. The Cloud Computing segment consists of Alibaba Cloud, which offers elastic computing, database, storage and content delivery network, large scale computing, security, management and application, big data analytics, a machine learning platform, and other services provide for enterprises of different sizes across various industries. The Digital Media and Entertainment segment relates to the Youko Tudou and UC Browser business. The Innovation Initiatives and Others segment includes businesses such as AutoNavi, DingTalk, Tmall Genie, and others. The company was founded by Chung Tsai and Yun Ma on June 28, 1999 and is headquartered in Hangzhou, China.

Financial Highlights

Mar 2020 HKDUSD
Gross Profit244,012.01M31,217.02M
Operating income107,186.93M13,712.67M
Income before tax186,971.83M23,919.74M
Net income167,469.63M21,424.78M
Diluted EPS7.841.00
Dividends Per Share00
Total Assets1,434.80B185,114.55M
Total liabilities473,520.53M61,092.33M
Total equity825,511.11M106,505.19M
Operating cash flow202,636.87M25,923.80M
Currency in HKDCurrency in USD

Historical Data

 Mar 2016Mar 2017Mar 2018Mar 2019Mar 2020
Revenue 123,365.38M 182,505.24M 294,897.09M 440,328.19M 571,883.94M
Gross Profit 77,887.18M 108,997.16M 161,317.54M 189,327.19M 244,012.01M
Operating income 36,071.77M 56,400.62M 83,201.02M 70,022.47M 107,186.93M
Income before tax 99,367.54M 69,219.68M 118,308.33M 112,430.65M 186,971.83M
Net income 87,160.65M 50,361.82M 75,395.74M 102,357.34M 167,469.63M
EBITDA 44,158.47M 72,757.40M 108,988.88M 113,180.81M 154,566.89M
Diluted EPS 4.25 2.44 3.60 4.87 7.84
Dividends Per Share -- -- -- -- 0
Total Assets 437,288.75M 571,574.77M 894,747.61M 1,127.37B 1,434.80B
Total liabilities 137,392.25M 206,010.49M 346,385.74M 408,458.58M 473,520.53M
Total equity 260,857.10M 317,831.09M 456,531.63M 575,068.82M 825,511.11M
Operating cash flow 69,323.58M 92,624.23M 147,493.32M 176,408.67M 202,636.87M
 Mar 2016Mar 2017Mar 2018Mar 2019Mar 2020
Revenue 15,903.10M 23,521.83M 37,762.20M 56,149.34M 73,162.45M
Gross Profit 10,040.48M 14,047.89M 20,657.05M 24,142.44M 31,217.02M
Operating income 4,650.03M 7,269.08M 10,654.07M 8,929.05M 13,712.67M
Income before tax 12,809.52M 8,921.24M 15,149.63M 14,336.82M 23,919.74M
Net income 11,235.93M 6,490.78M 9,654.58M 13,052.30M 21,424.78M
EBITDA 5,692.49M 9,377.19M 13,956.26M 14,432.48M 19,774.10M
Diluted EPS 0.54 0.31 0.46 0.62 1.00
Dividends Per Share -- -- -- -- 0
Total Assets 56,376.70M 73,547.54M 114,005.73M 143,615.52M 185,114.55M
Total liabilities 17,713.06M 26,508.45M 44,135.30M 52,033.27M 61,092.33M
Total equity 33,630.55M 40,897.00M 58,169.72M 73,257.64M 106,505.19M
Operating cash flow 8,936.54M 11,937.69M 18,886.83M 22,495.10M 25,923.80M

Valuation Measures

Mar 2020
Operating margin18.74%
Profit margin29.28%

Key executives

  • Executive Chairman & Chief Executive Officer: Yong Zhang
  • President & Director: John Michael Evans
  • CFO, Director & Head-Strategic Investments: Wei Wu
  • Chief Technology Officer: Li Cheng
  • VP, Head-Global Intellectual Property Enforcement: Matthew Bassiur


  • SoftBank Group Corp. (24.8%)
  • MA FAMILY (2.5%)
  • The Vanguard Group, Inc. (1.8%)
  • Apn Ltd. (1.8%)
  • Norges Bank Investment Management (0.9%)
  • Fidelity Management & Research Co. LLC (0.5%)
  • Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (0.4%)
  • Jack Ma Philanthropic Foundation (0.4%)
  • APG Asset Management NV (0.4%)

Contact Details

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Last Updated on 7 May, 2021

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