Alibaba appoints new CEO as revenues rise 45%

08/05/2015

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba appoints a new its chief executive as it announces 45% revenue growth for the quarter.

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Daniel Zhang currently chief operating officer, will become chief executive on Sunday and said he would continue his predecessor's push into mobile and and expansion into new businesses.

He replaces Jonathan Lu, who will remain on the board as vice chairman, Alibaba said Thursday.

The company's mobile take rate, or the percentage of people who take some form of action on a website, dipped slightly last quarter due to activity around the Chinese New Year, when much of the country is on holiday, Zhang said. However, in the big picture, Chinese customers and merchants continue to move from personal computers to mobile phones, he said.

Alibaba's quarterly revenue jumped 45 percent to $2.81 billion, beating the average analyst estimate of $2.77 billion.

Singles Day record sales

Last year, Alibaba pulled in almost $8bn (£5bn) in sales from its annual 'Singles' Day' shopping event.

The day, nicknamed China’s anti–Valentine’s Day has overtaken the US’ s Black Friday as the world’s most lucrative online shopping day.

Alibaba also surpassed more than $2 billion in sales volume processed through payments app Alipay within the first hour and 11 seconds of November 11.

Known as “Singles Day” in China, the holiday was adopted by Alibaba in 2009 as a play on a two-decades-old celebration of China’s bachelors. Since then, Alibaba’s Singles Day sales have grown at a meteoric pace, skyrocketing a whopping 5,740% from 2009 to 2013.

Alibaba, which heavily promotes Singles Day, had expected to ring up 50 billion yuan, or a record $8.2 billion, for the day. Industry tracker IDC said it was “very likely” Alibaba would reach $8.65 billion, up from $5.75 billion in 2013, $3.04 billion in 2012 and $820 million in 2011.

That would make Singles Day one of the most successful, and lucrative, manufactured holidays in history.

It compares with "Cyber Monday" in the US, the Monday after Thanksgiving, which is also marketed as a big online shopping day.

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