Last year’s outdoor environment ‘most severe in decades’

Daniel Zhang, Chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group, said the company’s fiscal year from April 2021 to March 2022 was impacted by uncertainties around Covid, “new expectations” on China’s internet sector and the “high frequency” of international geopolitical conflicts.

Wang Zhao | AFP | Getty Images

Alibaba faced its “toughest” external environment in decades during its most recent financial year, CEO Daniel Zhang said on Tuesday, as the Chinese e-commerce giant faced a number of headwinds ranging from from regulatory scrutiny to a resurgence of Covid-19 in the second world. greater economy.

“Over the past year, we have been deeply affected by the enormous uncertainties caused by the capricious nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the new expectations of the Internet sector in China and the high frequency of international geopolitical conflicts,” he said. Zhang wrote in a statement. letter to Alibaba shareholders.

“This may be the year in which changes in the external environment have been the most severe in decades. In response to these significant and impactful changes, our guiding principle has been ‘be confident, be flexible and be ourselves”.

During the company’s fiscal year, from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, Alibaba experienced its slowest ever revenue growth and its share price plummeted by more than 50%.

Alibaba was hit with an 18.23 billion Chinese yuan ($2.7 billion) fine last year in an anti-monopoly probe as regulators increased scrutiny of the tech giants. country’s Internet.

Zhang said that “despite the challenges, Alibaba achieved a stable and rewarding year,” highlighting the e-commerce giant’s focus on three key areas: consumption, cloud computing and globalization.

The CEO said the company has achieved its goal of serving more than one billion active consumers a year in China. Zhang touted the growth of his Taobao Deal discount shopping platform and Taocaiicai group shopping platform. Both of these are seen as key products to help Alibaba increase user numbers in smaller, less affluent Chinese cities.

“We believe these two companies will make a greater contribution to our overall retail matrix in the future,” Zhang said.

Learn more about China from CNBC Pro

Shirlene J. Manley