Alibaba CEO: Why we got USD 15.7 billion in revenue

On Thursday, Alibaba Group announced their Q4 and fiscal year 2016 financial results ending March 31, 2016. The company finished the fiscal year on a very strong note with total revenue reaching RMB 101 billion (USD 15.7 billion), an increase of 33% compared to RMB 76 billion in fiscal year 2015. Its gross merchandise volume (GMV) for fiscal year 2016 was RMB three trillion.

Alibaba’s CEO Daniel Zhang made a public speech about the highlights of their performance. AllChinaTech picked some of the big takeaways from Zhang’s speech to showcase the forces that drove Alibaba to develop so quickly.

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Daniel Zhang, Alibaba’s CEO . Photo from

Two milestones

Zhang said the RMB 3 trillion annual GMV and the RMB 100 billion annual revenue are two milestones for Alibaba.

This marks the unique strength of the company’s core e-commerce business despite challenging economic conditions, as well as the emerging momentum of its balanced portfolio of businesses ranging from mobile media to cloud computing.

The excellent performances solidifies its position as the world’s largest retailer, surpassing Walmart Stores, Inc., which posted revenues of USD 482.1 billion for its fiscal year ending January 31.

The driving forces

Alibaba’s online retail platform Taobao is much more than a sales and distribution channel for merchants at present. It has become a consumer community platform, where consumers come to access content, interact with merchants, exchange ideas and be entertained.

Another emerging traction star in Alibaba’s business is mobile internet services, including mobile search and mobile media. China has 688 million internet users, out of which 620 million access the internet using a mobile device. Alibaba is taking advantage of this golden opportunity to move its business onto more e-commerce platforms.

The company plans to tap into the spending power of China’s large rural population. The company has built many Taobao service stations, which provide purchasing and delivery services to China’s rural villages. It covers 14,000 rural villages across the country to date.

Also, Alibaba acquired Lazada, a leading e-commerce player that operates online retail platforms across Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore. This platform is part of Alibaba’s international strategy for e-commerce as it provides access to 560 million consumers in Southeast Asia.

Alibaba Cloud is one of the largest cloud computing businesses in the world. It has over 2.3 million customers, including more than 500,000 paying customers. Big data products include computing engines, data collection and data analysis, allowing customers to process up to 100 petabytes of data in under six hours.

Alibaba’s media assets, including Youku Tudou, UCWeb properties, over-the-top TV and its partner Weibo, are ideal for brands that are looking for multimedia and broad exposure to users through integrated marketing campaigns.

Next big objectives

Alibaba aims to reach an annual GMV of USD one trillion and serve two billion active buyers by 2020.

At present, Alibaba claims its annual active buyers on China retail marketplaces has reached 423 million.

Zhang said Alibaba’s focus on long-term strategic priorities – globalization, rural expansion, building a world-class cloud computing business and creating a comprehensive media and entertainment platform – has laid a strong foundation for future growth.

(Top photo from

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