SHANGHAI: Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba Group said Tuesday that it posted lower profit but maintained steady revenue growth, indicating that a government crackdown on the country’s tech giants was having little impact on its core business.

Alibaba said its net income in the April-June quarter came in at 45.1 billion yuan ($7 billion), down five percent on-year.

The Hangzhou-based company was the first of China’s tech champions to feel the wrath of a government that has become concerned over their rapid growth and data security.

In April, regulators fined Alibaba a record $2.78 billion for anti-competitive practises, dragging the company to a rare operating loss in the January-March quarter.

Since then, the government has taken a number of other measures against major Chinese digital players, sending their share prices tumbling.

But through it all, Alibaba’s revenues remained solid as China’s economy has weathered the global pandemic well, with company executives saying it had even helped fuel online shopping.

Alibaba revenue, the vast majority of which comes from its core e-commerce platforms, increased 34 percent on-year to $31.9 billion, according to the company.

Still, that fell short of a Bloomberg poll of analysts who had forecast 49 percent growth.

Alibaba blamed the lower net income on strategic investments.

A statement accompanying the earnings announcement made no mention of the tech clampdown.

“We believe in the growth of the Chinese economy and long-term value creation of Alibaba,” Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang said.

After years of giving them relatively free rein to help digitise the Chinese economy, regulators are now seeking to hobble dominant digital platforms.

The moves echo a global pushback against the increasing clout of Big Tech that has Facebook, Google and others also facing scrutiny at home and abroad.


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