Alibaba beats forecasts as China lockdowns ease

STORY: Alibaba is feeling the benefits after China lifted health-crisis lockdowns.

The e-commerce titan beat forecasts in the third quarter.

Net income surged 69%.

Revenue rose 2% to almost $36 billion, even as overall retail sales in the country dropped.

Consumer spending in China is now expected to stay weak for the first part of the year.

However, analysts bet that people will gradually start to unleash savings built up during lockdowns.

Alibaba also hopes to get relief from a regulatory crackdown.

It’s been in the spotlight since late 2020, when founder Jack Ma irked Beijing with a speech critical of watchdogs.

Authorities subsequently cracked down on the country’s whole tech sector.

But Beijing is now keen to help revive stalling economic growth, and has signalled it will ease up on some of the measures.

Now artificial intelligence is a new hope, amid global excitement over ChatGPT - the AI chatbot backed by Microsoft.

Alibaba is currently testing its own rival product.

Though it faces competition from a bevy of local rivals including Baidu and

Alibaba’s U.S. traded shares jumped over 6% in pre-market trade following the results.