Via Mashable : Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba just announced it sold 3 trillion yuan ($462 billion) worth of goods on its various sites in the past year.
It hit its milestone with 10 days left in its fiscal year ending in March, said executive vice-chairman, Joe Tsai. The 3 trillion yuan is also thrice the volume Alibaba achieved in 2012, and double its transactions in 2013.
Alibaba has a host of e-commerce sites, of which it’s perhaps best known for its namesake business-to-business wholesale platform as well as its consumer-facing site, Taobao.
To put its earnings in perspective, during the big “Singles’ Day” shopping sale in China in 2015 — the country’s version of Black Friday or Cyber Monday in the U.S. — it sold 91.2 billion yuan ($14.3 billion) in goods. Over 40,000 merchants took part in the shopping sale, offering a collective six million different products on Alibaba’s sites between them.
Its Singles’ Day performance in 2015 eclipsed its own the previous year, which was $9.34 billion. To put it into perspective, that was triple the $2.68 billion in sales by all U.S. merchants combined on Cyber Monday in 2014.
Tsai pointed out that Alibaba’s part to play in the broader e-commerce revolution in China has allowed “tens of millions” of small businesses to emerge, which exist solely in the virtual realm where they reach hundreds of millions of shoppers in the country via the Internet.
The company estimates that some 12,000 of China’s rural village craftsmen sell to the broader public via Taobao, but there’s room to grow — there are about 600,000 villages in the country left to reach, it said.
If Alibaba manages to keep up this pace, it will be on track to overtake U.S. conglomerate Wal-Mart as the world’s largest retail network — a goal the company’s executive team has been eyeing since 2013.
Wal-Mart’s revenue has been rising over the past five years, but tapered off a little in 2016. It reached $485 billion in 2015, and hit $482 billion in its 2016 fiscal year ended Feb.
Besides e-commerce, Alibaba has a robust and growing IT infrastructure business in its cloud computing division, Aliyun. The company also bought Youku Tudou — China’s version of YouTube — for $3.7 billion in November last year.
Alibaba’s founder and executive chairman, Jack Ma, announced in December 2015 that it was getting into the media business, acquiring 113-year-old Hong Kong English language daily, the South China Morning Post.
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