Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba said Thursday that first quarter revenue beat analyst estimates, defying a slowing economy and a trade war with the United States.

Revenue for the April-June period rose 42 percent year-on-year to 114.9 billion yuan ($16.7 billion), a company statement said, outpacing an average analyst estimate of 111.6 billion yuan compiled by Bloomberg News.

Joe Tsai, Alibaba's Executive Vice-Chairman, attributed the results to China's demographic trends and continued urbanization, pointing to the growing urban middle class willing to shell out for brands on Alibaba's e-commerce platforms. Net profit for the quarter was 21.2 billion ($3.1 billion), more than double from the same period a year earlier.

Revenue in the Hangzhou-based company's core e-commerce segment, which accounts for the vast majority of its business, jumped 44 percent, while the smaller but fast-growing cloud computing unit surged 66 percent.

"Alibaba had a great quarter, expanding our user base to 674 million annual active consumers, demonstrating our superior user experience," said Daniel Zhang, Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba. [AFP]


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