May 31, 2022: -Chinese tech giants like Alibaba, Tencent, and JD.com have posted their most lagging revenue growth on record as Covid and Beijing’s tech crackdown took their toll.
Since 2020, China has fined corporations and scrutinized them for alleged monopolistic practices. A Covid revival since March has added force to growth, with travel restrictions and stay-home orders disrupting supply chains and logistics.
Reflecting the economic slowdown, e-commerce giant Alibaba reported a decline in online shopping for its two leading China platforms in the quarter finished on March 31.
The company’s total revenue increased by 9% in the most delinquent quarter from before a year, the quietest on record, according to financial history accessed through Wind Information.
According to Wind data, Tencent’s revenue for the quarter was little changed, while JD.com saw an around 18% increase from a year ago, both the gradually on record.
After reporting results, Alibaba shares zoomed by about 15% in New York trading overnight. JD.com’s U.S.-listed shares increased by 5%, while Tencent’s increased better than 1% in Hong Kong trading Friday.
“Macro-sensitive stocks” such as Alibaba and Baidu might temporarily benefit from low earnings expectations and anticipation that Shanghai is close to ending its lockdown, Jialong Shi and Thomas Shen, analysts at Nomura, said.
“However, we believe the speed of recovery will likely dictate the sustainability of this rally for China consumer demand, which the market will conceivable closely follow over the coming months,” the analysts said.
China’s already sluggish retail sales fell further in April, down 11.1% from a year ago.
Even online sales of physical goods decreased by 1% worse than during the initial shock of the pandemic in 2020. That’s according to CNBC calculations of official data accessed through Wind Information.
The Nomura analysts said many businesses decided to cut marketing spending to ride out the challenging environment, “which might lead to a belated recovery in the ads industry even if China is completely out of the lockdown mode.”
Alibaba said excluding unpaid orders, gross merchandise value (GMV) saw a “low single-digit decline” from a year ago, according to an earnings call transcript from FactSet. GMV is a measure of goods sold in a set period.