E-commerce giant Alibaba reported better-than-expected earnings and sales for its most recent quarter Thursday.
Alibaba said that it now has more than 1 billion active customers in China, the first time the company has surpassed that milestone. Alibaba has more than 1.3 billion customers worldwide.
Alibaba charman and CEO Daniel Zhang said in a press release that Alibaba was able to post solid results “despite macro challenges that impacted supply chains and consumer sentiment.”
The company hopes supply chain disruptions could soon be ending. Alibaba chief financial officer Toby Xu said during a conference call with analysts Thursday that “we certainly are seeing signs of improvement going into the month of May” even though it will still “take time” for outstanding shipments to be delivered.
Xu added that “many merchants may need to invest in order to grow their revenues,” especially as retailers prepare for Alibaba’s mid-year shopping festival on June 18.
Shift in Chinese consumer shopping habits
“While our user traffic and engagement have remained resilient, patterns of consumption across categories on our platforms have shifted,” Zhang said on the conference call.
He noted that sales in the fashion and electronics categories declined, but “demand for essential supplies” such as food and personal care products “increased significantly with more consumers stockpiling at home.” Zhang said other categories, such as health care, activewear and outdoor products also grew rapidly.