The retail side of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group gets most of the China-based company’s publicity, but its wholesale operations—including sales by companies outside of China—are scoring strong gains of their own.
Alibaba has been working with companies in multiple regions to help them sell online through 1688.com, its site for wholesale sales into China, and Alibaba.com, its international wholesale site. In addition to thousands of suppliers based in China, such sellers range from U.S. manufacturers like Michelman Inc., which sells industrial inks and coatings for wood and metal into the China market on 1688.com, to Land Growers Chile, a Chile-based agricultural produce supplier that sells fruit and nuts on Alibaba.com.
Alibaba, which has also grown through acquisition, last week said revenue from international wholesale sales on Alibaba.com increased 14% year over year in its first fiscal quarter ended June 30 to 1.837 billion yuan (US$278 million), as revenue from sales on 1688.com increased 37% to 2.25 billion yuan ($340 million). Alibaba generates revenue from the fees it charges to suppliers; it doesn’t publicize those fee schedules. It also declines to release sales figures in terms of gross merchandise volume, or the total value of transactions between sellers and buyers on its marketplaces.
For the three months ended June 30, Alibaba also reported:
- Overall revenue in its core commerce segment, which includes retail as well as wholesale sales and services in China and international markets, increased 61% year over year to 69.19 yuan (US$10.456 billion);
- Revenue from cloud computing services increased 93% to 4.698 yuan (US$710 million);
- Total revenue rose 61.2% to 80.92 billion yuan (US$12.229 billion);
- Net income increased 54.5% to 7.650 yuan (US$1.156 billion).
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