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Alibaba's mobile-first approach pays off with high Q1 growth

Alibaba recorded revenues of RMB.32.5 million ($4.8 million) for its first quarter, ending 30 June 2016, which was a 59% increase year-on-year. The growth rates were the highest since the e-tailer floated in 2014.

Sales from its Chinese marketplace business increased 49% over the year, to RMB.23.4 million ($3.5 million), which the e-tail giant put down to an increase in mobile as smartphone shoppers now represent 75% of total marketplace revenue.

The mobile revenue from Chinese retail marketplaces increased 119% year-on-year to RMB.17.5 million ($2.6 million).

“We passed an important milestone this quarter in achieving higher monetisation of mobile users than non-mobile users for the first time, reflecting the success of our strategy to stay ahead of the curve by embracing mobile," said Maggie Wu, CFO of Alibaba Group.

"As we demonstrate from our segmental disclosure, our results reflect the unrivalled strength of our core commerce business, as well as the accelerating traction we are seeing from our cloud computing and digital media and entertainment businesses."

Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group, added: "Alibaba Group had an outstanding quarter. Our results show the scale and leverage of our ecosystem, as we strengthen our competitive positions in core commerce, cloud computing and digital media and entertainment."

Zhang said Alibaba is changing the way its 434 million active buyers engage with the platform as it introduces social, community and personalisation driven by smart data.

"We are poised for strong profitable growth into the future," he said.

Last month, Alibaba launched an intellectual property (IP) platform to address the challenge of preventing the selling of counterfeit goods.

Dubbed 'IP Joint-Force System', the new tool aims to build greater and more collaborative working relationships with brands around the world as Alibaba ramps up its fight against counterfeits and IP infringement.

All participating brands in the existing "Good Faith Takedown" programme, which was launched in 2015 to expedite the notice-takedown process for brands that submit valid counterfeit complaints, will be eligible for the new IP Joint-Force System. Some 700 brands participate in this initiative, including Adidas, Apple, Procter & Gamble, Mars and Philips.

Alibaba has been at the forefront of innovation, even releasing an internet-enabled car last month, in partnership with Shanghai Automotive. The car is powered by its mobile operating system division, YunOS and establishes a platform for the e-tailer to deliver internet offerings to passengers, such as paying at parking lots and gas stations through Alipay, smart voice control and intelligent maps.