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阿里营收增长强劲,新业务仍面临压力

更新时间:2016-11-3 18:37:58 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Alibaba Earnings Show It Again Defying China’s Slowdown
阿里营收增长强劲,新业务仍面临压力

HONG KONG — Amid concerns about a slowdown in the growth of the Chinese economy, China’s largest e-commerce company is showing that — for now — business on its platforms is holding steady.

香港——在中国经济增长放缓引发的一片担忧中,中国最大的电子商务公司表明,目前其平台上的业务保持着稳定。

Alibaba Group said on Wednesday that its revenue grew strongly in the three months through the end of September, as the myriad brands and small-time vendors on its online shopping sites kept spending heavily on advertising. Although Chinese economic growth has slowed, more shoppers are also turning to Alibaba sites while abandoning physical retail outlets like malls.

阿里巴巴集团周三表示,随着其网购平台上的众多品牌和小商家继续大量投放广告,公司在截至9月底的三个月里收入增长强劲。尽管中国经济增长放缓,但更多的消费者放弃了像购物中心这样的实体零售场所,转向阿里巴巴的网站。

Alibaba said its sales rose 55 percent to $5.14 billion in its second quarter from the same period a year earlier. Net profit dropped 69 percent from a year ago, to $1.06 billion, because of a one-time accounting gain that had raised last year’s bottom line.

阿里巴巴称其第二季度的销售额同比增长55%,达342.92亿元人民币。净利润为人民币70.75亿元,较上年同期下滑69%,因为一项一次性收益提高了去年的利润。

While the company has been mostly immune to China’s slowing growth — gross domestic product expanded 6.7 percent in the past three quarters, down from 6.9 percent for all of 2015 — the value of goods sold on Alibaba’s online platforms had begun to plateau. While it has a strong hold on the online market for China’s middle-class shoppers, almost all of them already own a smartphone, so growth through new customers is harder to achieve.

尽管该公司基本没受中国经济增长放缓的影响——过去三个季度的国内生产总值增速为6.7%,低于2015年全年的6.9%——但阿里巴巴在线平台所售货物价值已经开始停滞。它已经牢牢控制着面向中国中产阶级消费者的线上市场,他们几乎都有智能手机,因此很难通过新增用户实现增长。

To compensate for slowing sales growth on its platforms, Alibaba — which makes money on advertising and fees paid by the vendors that set up virtual stores on its platforms — has been doing more to improve targeting of advertisements. It is also seeking to bring in new international brands that pay a fee to sell on its platforms.

为了弥补在线平台上不断放缓的销售增长,阿里巴巴——靠广告和在其平台上开设虚拟店铺的商家支付的费用赚钱——采取了更多的措施,以改善广告投放的精准度。阿里巴巴还试图引进新的国际品牌。后者需交纳一定的费用,才能在其平台上销售。

Given the slowdown, analysts have focused more on other businesses that Alibaba has been building up in recent years. But those businesses, like cloud computing and digital entertainment, all posted losses during the quarter. As Alibaba’s profit margins shrink, investors will put more pressure on the company to extract profit from its newer business.

考虑到这种放缓,分析人士更关注阿里巴巴近几年打造的其他业务。但这些业务,如云计算和数字娱乐,该季度均宣布亏损。随着阿里巴巴的利润空间缩水,投资者将向该公司施加更多压力,要求其在新业务中盈利。

During a conference call with analysts, Joseph Tsai, the company’s executive vice chairman, said that its cloud computing and digital entertainment units were “coming into their own in terms of scale.” Still, he warned that the company viewed its investments in new businesses as projects that may not yield profit for the next five to 10 years.

在同分析人士召开的一次电话会议上,阿里巴巴董事局副主席蔡崇信(Joe Tsai)表示,云计算和数字娱乐部门“正在取得运营规模效应”。但他仍提醒,公司把新业务上的投资当作未来五到十年可能都不会盈利的项目。

Many have particularly focused on Alibaba’s cloud services which, much like Amazon Web Services, provide easy-to-use, back-end computing power for a wide range of companies.

不少人特别关注阿里巴巴的云服务。它很像亚马逊网络服务(Amazon Web Services),为各种企业提供易用的后端计算能力。

Revenue from the cloud service more than doubled from a year earlier, to $224 million in the most recent quarter, but posted a $60 million operating loss. Alibaba said it had added 74,000 subscribers to the service over the quarter, raising its total paying users to 651,000. Analysts have predicted that the business could begin producing profit for Alibaba in the coming few years.

在上一个季度,来自云服务的营收为14.93亿元人民币,同比增加一倍多,但仍有6000万美元(约合4.05亿元人民币)的运营亏损。阿里巴巴称这个季度增加了7.4万新用户,总付费用户人数达到了65.1万。分析人士预测,该业务可能会在接下来的几年里开始给阿里巴巴带来利润。

“Alibaba has gone beyond the position of an e-commerce play,” said Jessie Guo, an analyst at Jefferies, an investment bank, citing its cloud computing and logistics arms as well as its electronic payments affiliate, Ant Financial. “We see it as an ecosystem. That means its model is going to be more sophisticated.”

“阿里巴巴已经超越了一出电商剧的定位,”投资银行杰富瑞(Jefferies)的分析师杰茜·郭(Jessie Guo)提到了阿里巴巴的云计算和物流部门,以及电子支付子公司蚂蚁金服。“我们认为它是一个生态系统。这意味着它的模式会更加复杂。”

A new spate of public listings by Chinese logistics firms could help Alibaba, Shi Jialong, a technology analyst at Nomura, wrote in a recent note to clients. These firms, which deliver goods ordered online to customers, have risen on the back of Alibaba’s success, and they could use proceeds from those share sales to expand their networks and enhance delivery capabilities, “which eventually would help improve the quality of services for Alibaba’s customers,” Mr. Shi wrote.

野村证券(Nomura)的科技行业分析师史嘉龙(Shi Jialong,音)在最近给客户的一份报告中写道,中国物流公司接二连三地上市可能会对阿里巴巴起到帮助作用。负责将网上订购的商品递送给顾客的这些公司随着阿里的成功而崛起,它们可以用股票筹资带来的收益扩大自己的网络,提升递送能力,“这最终有助于改善对阿里巴巴消费者的服务质量,”史嘉龙写道。

Alibaba’s logistics unit is part of a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry into the company’s accounting. In part because of that investigation, short-seller interest in the company has risen near peak levels in recent days, according to data from Bloomberg. Alibaba has said it is cooperating with the inquiry and has begun to disclose more information about those operations to investors.

阿里巴巴的物流部门是美国证券交易委员会(Securities and Exchange Commission)对该公司的账目进行调查的一部分。从彭博社(Bloomberg)的数据来看,在一定程度上正是因为这项调查,对该公司的做空兴趣在最近几天几乎达到了巅峰水平。阿里巴巴称正在配合调查,并且已开始向投资者公布更多与这些业务有关的信息。

For many, earnings are simply a prelude to Singles Day, an intense shopping holiday on Nov. 11 engineered in part by Alibaba, in which the company’s vendors offer major discounts. Growth in sales on the day of the event has slowed, and Alibaba is pulling out all the stops this year, featuring a slew of entertainment features including a concert by the American pop star Katy Perry.

对很多人来说,这份财报只是火爆的购物节“双十一”的前奏。“双十一”在一定程度上是阿里巴巴发起的。在这个节日期间,阿里巴巴平台上的商家会提供较大的折扣。这一天的销售增长出现了放缓,阿里巴巴今年正在全力以赴,组织了大量娱乐节目,包括美国流行歌星凯蒂·佩里(Katy Perry)的一场演唱会。

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