Alibaba Reports December 2020 Quarter Earnings

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Alibaba Reports December 2020 Quarter Earnings

(Editor’s note: This article was originally published on Feb. 2, 2021.)

Alibaba Group today announced financial results for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2020. Highlights of the group’s earnings are in the infographics and summary below. To read Alibaba Group’s press release covering the results in greater detail, click here.

earnings december 2020


  • Strong revenue growth of 37% YoY
  • Robust profit growth with adjusted EBITDA up 22% YoY
  • Cloud computing revenue grew 50% YoY in the quarter ended December 31, 2020 to RMB16.1 billion (US$2.5 billion) and was profitable for the first time

December Quarter Financial Review

  • Revenue was RMB221.1 billion (US$33.9 billion), an increase of 37% YoY
  • Adjusted EBITDA increased 22% YoY to RMB68.4 billion (US$10.5 billion)
  • Net income attributable to ordinary shareholders increased 52% YoY to RMB79.4 billion (US$12.2 billion), mainly due to an increase in the net gain arising from increases in the market prices of our equity investments in publicly-traded companies in the quarter ended December 31, 2020
  • Non-GAAP net income was up 27% YoY to RMB59.2 billion (US$9.1 billion)
  • Non-GAAP free cash flow grew 23% YoY to RMB96.2 billion (US$14.7 billion), mainly due to our robust profit growth

Strength in Core Commerce

Robust Quarterly Performance Aiding Business Recovery

  • Core commerce revenue of RMB195.5 billion (US$30.0 billion), up 38% YoY
  • Tmall online physical goods GMV, excluding unpaid orders, up 19% YoY, supported primarily by rapid growth of FMCG and home furnishing categories, while growth of the consumer electronics category accelerated YoY
  • Purchases of products warehoused and shipped from overseas by Tmall Global grew rapidly, achieving triple-digit year-over-year growth in GMV, excluding unpaid orders, during the December quarter.
  • The 2020 11.11 Global Shopping Festival[1] yielded strong results, attracting a total of over 250,000 brands and 5 million merchants, generating RMB498.2 billion (US$74.1 billion) in GMV, excluding unpaid orders, an increase of 26% compared to the same timeframe in 2019

Engaging User Experience Driving Consumer Growth and Higher Purchase Frequency

  • Annual active consumers on our China retail marketplaces reached 779 million for the 12-month period ended December 31, 2020, representing a quarterly net increase of 22 million
  • Mobile MAUs on our China retail marketplaces reached 902 million in December 2020, an increase of 21 million over September 2020
  • Taobao Deals achieved rapid user growth, with over 100 million annual active consumers for the 12-month period ended December 31, 2020 and over 100 million and MAUs in December 2020
  • Taobao Live continued to strengthen engagement between merchants and consumers on platforms such as Juhuasuan, and Fliggy, generating over RMB400 billion in Taobao Live GMV for the 12 months ended December 31, 2020
  • The number of brands and merchants on Tmall Global platform as of December 31, 2020 grew over 60% YoY

Extended Growth in New Retail and Local Consumer Services

  • Freshippo (known as “Hema” in Chinese) achieved double-digit same-store sales growth during the December quarter as we continued to optimize its product supply and improve customer experience
  • Demand for digitalization in the restaurant and service industry remains strong after the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in China, and continued to capture this market opportunity. The number of registered merchants grew over 30% YoY as of December 31, 2020, and the average daily number of paying members in the December quarter grew about 30% YoY
  • As of December 31, 2020, the number of non-restaurant registered merchants enabled by increased by over 80% YoY

Cainiao Network Improving Efficiency Across the Alibaba Ecosystem

  • In the December quarter, Cainiao Network revenue grew 51% YoY to RMB11.4 billion (US$1.7 billion) and had positive operating cash flow
  • In China, Cainiao and its partners processed over 2.3 billion orders during the 2020 11.11 Global Shopping Festival[1]

Lazada Maintained Robust Growth Momentum

  • Lazada recorded another quarter of triple-digit order growth, and robust growth in both buyers and sellers, despite new waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in many markets where it operates

Strong Growth in Cloud

  • Cloud computing revenue was RMB16.1 billion (US$2.5 billion), up 50% YoY, primarily driven by robust growth in revenue from customers in the Internet and retail industries and the public sector
  • For the first time, Alibaba Cloud achieved positive adjusted EBITA during the quarter as a result of realized economies of scale
  • During the 2020 11.11 Global Shopping Festival[1]Alibaba Cloud provided a highly scalable, reliable and secure public cloud infrastructure, which at its peak processed 583,000 orders per second

Digital Media and Entertainment

  • Youku’s average daily subscriber base increased around 30% YoY, driven by the appeal of Youku’s original content and continued contribution from the 88VIP membership program
  • Alibaba Pictures invested in and distributed the top three grossing films during the three-day New Year holiday in China, which accounted for over 80% of China box office sales during the period, according to Beacon Box Office data

[1] Please note that the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival lasted from November 1 to November 11, 2020

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