Daniel Zhan Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group speaks in front of a giant screen showing a total sales transacted of e-commerce giant Alibaba, on the "Singles' Day" global online shopping festival in Shenzhen, southern China's Guangdong province . In a bright spot for China's cooling economy, online shoppers spent billions of dollars Friday on "Singles' Day," a quirky holiday that has grown into the world's busiest day for e-commerceChina Singles' Day, Shenzhen, China - 11 Nov 2016

Alibaba is still growing, just not as fast as it was in the past.

On Friday, the Chinese e-commerce giant’s results for the third quarter ended Sept. 30 and its outlook for the future were mixed — growing, but not as strongly as hoped. Net income rose 14 percent to 20.1 billion yuan, or $2.9 billion, while revenue grew 54 percent to 85.1 billion yuan. Still, the top line came in below analyst expectations of 86.5 billion yuan. 

Alibaba’s active users also increased by 25 million to 601 million for the 12 months ending June 30. That’s good news for the e-commerce company that accounts for nearly two-thirds of China’s online retail marketplace.

Maggie Wu, chief financial officer of Alibaba Group, said the quarter was “tempered by significant investments in local services, logistics, entertainment and international expansion.” But she also pointed out, “We outpaced all industry peers.”

Even so, Alibaba lowered its 2019 fiscal year revenue guidance. The company earlier anticipated year-end revenue growth of about 400 billion yuan, but now estimates it will be closer to between 375 billion yuan and 383 billion yuan. 

Meanwhile, Chinese e-commerce giant, founded in 1999 with only 18 people, including executive chairman Jack Ma, has been in the race to win online shoppers around the world as fashion brands move online.

“We have eliminated the ‘e’ from e-commerce as the distinction between online and off-line sales goes away when shoppers buy from anywhere, any time using a mobile phone,” Joseph Chung Tsai, executive vice chairman of Alibaba, said during a conference call with analysts.

“This is made possible by digitizing the entire consumer journey, inventory tracking and logistics workflow,” Tsai said. “We expect a value creation from traditional retailers’ increased sales and more efficient operations.”  

Competitors include Amazon, JD.com, Walmart and Farfetch, among others. But China’s slowing economy could put a dent in Alibaba’s plans.

Company shares were up more than 6 percent during pre-market hours but were down 1.4 percent to $149.09 in midday trading.

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