Alibaba breaks record, sales surpass trillion dollar mark

Logo Alibaba
Photo: zhu difeng /

Alibaba saw its turnover climb 35 % in the past fiscal year, beating its own forecasts by a landslide. The coronavirus crisis pushed the platform's total sales over a trillion dollars, a record.


A billion customers

Alibaba has broken yet another record: in its financial year 2020, up to the end of March, the company's gross merchandise volume from e-commerce surpassed a trillion dollars (920 billion euros). The lion's share still came from China (870 billion euros). The company's turnover went up by 35 % to 65,6 billion euros, while EBITDA rose 29 % to 20,5 billion euros.


The company says it is now almost at the milestone of a billion users worldwide, currently having 780 million consumers in China en 180 million abroad. Almost three quarters of new customers come from less developed areas, a segment heavily targeted by Alibaba through physical retail and collaborations with small, local shops.


"Corona success"

The company's fourth quarter (January to March) included almost the whole corona crisis in China and was a huge push forwards for Alibaba: the number of online orders went up by 19 %, largely courtesy of the lockdowns. Total turnover climbed from 12 to 14,7 billion euros, while the company had forecast a turnover drop in its fourth quarter.


The crisis did hit the profits hard though, with EBITDA only climbing 1 % and net profits dropping by 88 %. Lower share prices meant revenue from investments were significantly lower. On the bright side, turnover from cloud-computing went up 58 %.