Despite these growing pains, Alibaba is optimistic its mobile investments will pay off.
“We’ve seen sustained progress in how we monetize mobile and a greater proportion of gross merchandise volume now being facilitated on mobile,” said Joe Tsai, executive vice chairman of Alibaba Group, on the earnings call. “Our mobile Taobao app is a strong driver of commercial intent and has helped introduce a large number of new users to our retail platforms.”
Alibaba has a steady increase in its total number of monthly active users (MAUs). Its Chinese retail marketplaces drew 334 million monthly active users, a 45% increase year over year. Mobile MAUs reached 265 million total, a staggering 95% increase year over year.
“When you consider our total number of monthly active users, it surpasses the number of US residents, yet it only represents about half of Chinese Internet users,” said Tsai. “This highlights the significant growth opportunities we have in front of us.”
Alibaba made further headlines this week when Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced plans to sink its Alibaba Group stock stake into a separate publicly traded endeavor, SpinCo. This gives Yahoo stakeholders a tax-free safety net on Alibaba holdings.