May 10, 2013 07:47 PM

Alibaba Shows Net Profit of US$ 642 Mln in Q4


(Beijing) – Alibaba Group turned a net profit of US$ 642 million in the last quarter of 2012, up more than 170 percent compared to the same period a year earlier.
The information comes from a document that Yahoo Inc. submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Last summer, Alibaba bought back a 20 percent stake in the company from Yahoo Inc., strengthening the management team's weight in the boardroom.
It was the first time that a single quarter's net profit of the e-commerce giant exceeded that of Tencent Holdings Ltd., the largest internet company in the country.
Tencent had a net profit of US$ 565 million in the fourth quarter of last year, a company financial report shows, and the figure for rival Baidu Inc. was US$ 449 million.


"There is much room to grow for China's online shopping market," industry analyst Wang Guanxiong said. "Being the leader in the e-commerce industry, Alibaba is the biggest beneficiary of the prosperous online shopping market."
Jack Ma will step down as Alibaba's chief executive officer on May 10, but he will remain executive chairman. He is also taking on a role with The Nature Conservancy, a non-profit environmental protection organization in the United States.
Industry insiders say Alibaba will seek an initial public offering this year. Alibaba once planned to list in the United States and Hong Kong late this year, a company shareholder said. However, that plan will be postponed to mid-2014.
Alibaba said on May 10 that it bought a 28 percent stake in AutoNavi Holdings Ltd. for US$ 294 million. The company is a digital map and navigation service provider. Several sources told leading internet portal Sina Corp. the company would become the largest stakeholder in AutoNavi.
In a deal that represents the largest equity purchase so far in China's internet industry, Alibaba announced a US$ 586 million investment in Sina Weibo, Sina's Twitter-like service. The investment has widely been viewed as an attempt by Alibaba to expand its presence in the mobile Internet sector.

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