Alibaba (+56%) Grew Faster Than JD.com (+44%), and Has Better Gross Margins

Compare JD.com‘s Q2 numbers to Alibaba‘s. Alibaba‘s revenues jumped 56 percent to 50.1 billion yuan ($7.51 billion) (with profits nearly doubling). Meanwhile, JD.com had in Q2 2017 revenues grow 44% year-over-year (YoY) to 93.2 billion yuan ($13.7 billion).

The Street on the differences between Alibaba and JD.com:

[Alibaba] reported 56% year-over-year growth in revenue to $7.4 billion, topping estimates for $7.1 billion. Earnings came in at $1.17 per share, also beating estimates for 93 cents per share. Meanwhile, JD.com reported a net loss of $73 million for the past quarter on revenue of $14 billion.

But the real reason Alibaba stands out from rival JD.com (JD) is its gross margins, according to Maybank Kim Eng head of Asia Internet and telecom equity research Mitchell Kim. While JD.com reported declining gross margins, Alibaba’s gross margins expanded 540 bps from the past quarter. “We did not expect such a strong expansion,” Kim said. […]

Alibaba’s cost of revenue in the quarter came in at 35% of revenue, showing a slight improvement from the 37% of revenue in the same period last year. In addition, Free cash flow grew 74% year-over-year to $3.3 billion.

This is scale effects of brand and marketplace in action. Bloomberg is rightly talking about ‚Alibaba‘s grip on customers‘. (Alibaba has less total revenue than JD.com does because it ‚only‘ runs marketplaces in China. Its GMV and thus economic activity and, following that, mindshare is far larger though.)

China Internet Watch has the highlights for Alibaba‘s Q2:

Revenue from core commerce increased 58% year-over-year to RMB43,027 million (US$6,347 million).
Revenue from cloud computing increased 96% year-over-year to RMB2,431 million (US$359 million); it reached a key milestone of exceeding one million paying customer
Revenue from digital media and entertainment increased 30% year-over-year to RMB4,081 million (US$602 million).
Revenue from innovation initiatives and others increased 21% year-over-year to RMB645 million (US$95 million)
Tmall recorded 49% year-over-year growth for physical goods GMV in the quarter ended June 30, 2017. Fashion and apparel, consumer electronics and fast moving consumer goods, or FMCG, were among the key categories that experienced robust and reaccelerating GMV growth during the quarter according to Alibaba. […]

Mobile MAUs on its China retail marketplaces reached 529 million in June, an increase of 22 million over March 2017.

​​Although still comparatively tiny, Alibaba‘s international business is growing fast:

Revenue from Alibaba’s international commerce retail business reached meaningful scale at RMB2,638 million (US$389 million) in the quarter ended June 30, 2017, representing a 136% year-on-year growth, driven by strong growth in its Southeast Asian platform Lazada (Alibaba increased its ownership in Lazada to 83%)and its China outbound platform AliExpress.


Alibaba is as diverse as Amazon these days. Bloomberg:

Revenue jumped 56 percent and profit nearly doubled in the June quarter, fueled by a core commerce business that’s adding users and increasing how much they spend. That’s being bolstered by a cloud computing division with more than a million customers, helping investors shrug off slowing growth in digital media, which includes a Netflix-like streaming service.

Cloud revenue almost doubled (but is also still tiny compared to AWS or Microsoft‘s Azure).

​Alibaba is investing a lot in brick-and-mortar retail as well:

Alibaba has been ramping up assets in traditional retail, vowing to revamp a $4 trillion market. It led a $2.6 billion deal to take private Intime Retail Group Co., which operated and managed 29 department stores and 17 shopping malls across the country as of end-June last year. It’s also working with partly owned Suning Commerce Group Co.

Alibaba now has 466 million active customers (PDF).

Fore more, see Alibaba‘s detailed press release for its quarterly numbers. (PDF)

​More on this topic:

​* JD.com Grows Orders by 41% and Customers by 37%, Fulfillment Costs Rise by 39% YoY in Q2
​* Alibaba Leads $300M Round in Yiguo, China’s Largest B2C Food Marketplace
​* The Two Reasons Why Alibaba Is About to Invest in South Korea’s Coupang
​* Alibaba, Chinese VCs & Chinese Startups Are Working on Amazon Go-Like Stores
​* Alibaba’s Echo-Like Speaker ‚Tmall Genie‘ and the Future Chinese Voice Market

One comment

  1. […] another one on the Alibaba vs. JD.com front. As we expected, Alibaba won against JD.com in their fight about […]

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