Sales excluding revenue from consolidated businesses grew 39 percent year-on-year. While still solid, Alibaba's top-line growth rates have slowed sharply from a few years ago, as have those of domestic rivals such as JD.com, which last week reported its slowest quarterly revenue growth since it listed in 2014. Alibaba has made money primarily by selling advertising and promotional services to third-party merchants that list products on Taobao and Tmall, two of its e-commerce sites, but has in recent years invested heavily in cloud computing as well. It is still a relatively small part of Alibaba's overall business, accounting for 8% of group revenue in the fourth quarter. However, the company is now the world's third-largest cloud service provider, after Microsoft Corp and Amazon.com Inc, and the largest in China with a market share of over 40%, according to data from IDC. Steven Zhu, senior analyst at Pacific Epoch, said that e-commerce growth, while slowing, remains strong enough to support these new investments.
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Jun 25, 2019