Alibaba Group Holding reported the slowest revenue growth since it went public, underscoring how China’s crackdown on its technology sector is taking a financial toll on the e-commerce giant.
Sales rose 9.7% for the three months ending in December, far below the 40%-plus growth that was common before the government scrutiny began, as consumer spending slows and competition intensifies. Net income tumbled 74% to 20.4 billion yuan ($4.37 billion; US$3.2 billion), after the company took a big hit from losses in its global investment portfolio.
Once the most valuable company in China, Alibaba has struggled since Beijing launched a sweeping crackdown on the private sector more than a year ago. The Chinese government forced Alibaba’s finance affiliate, Ant Group Co., to call off what would have been the world’s largest initial public offering in 2020, and then instituted a series of reforms that have undercut Alibaba’s business model.