Latest news updates: Early Christmas shopping helps reverse 5-month decline in UK retail sales – Financial Times

Hong Kong shares in Alibaba slumped 10 per cent on Friday, a day after the Chinese ecommerce giant forecast annual revenue to grow at its slowest pace since its 2014 stock market debut.

The group’s New York-listed shares fell more than 11 per cent on Thursday.

Alibaba’s second-quarter results missed expectations due to slowing consumption, increasing competition and a regulatory crackdown.

The group on Thursday reported an 81 per cent fall in net income to $833.5m in the third quarter, missing a Bloomberg consensus estimate of $3.76bn.

Revenue rose 29 per cent to $31.4bn in the three months to September, compared with the same period last year, missing analysts’ forecasts of $32.3bn.

Chinese shoppers have become more cautious about spending, in part due to new Covid-19 outbreaks. In addition, Beijing has cracked down on technology companies, citing antitrust and national security issues.

Daniel Zhang, Alibaba chief executive, said increasing competition and slowing consumption in China were the primary causes for weaker growth.

Maggie Wu, Alibaba’s chief financial officer, told analysts that competitors “have been increasing investment to acquire users and show a high level of spending”.

Another Chinese tech giant, Tencent, last week posted its slowest revenue growth since it went public in 2004.

Alibaba’s competitors have been luring merchants away from its Taobao e-mall business with lower costs, but Barclays analyst Thomas Chong said Taobao continued to be an attractive platform.

“Domestic consumption, globalisation and cloud continue to make progress, with Taobao the destination for consumers with different preferences,” he said.

Chong said Alibaba had also made “solid progress” in a number of initiatives, including attracting a rising percentage of new consumers from lower-tier cities.

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Latest news updates: Early Christmas shopping helps reverse 5-month decline in UK retail sales – Financial Times

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