Reports also revealed that the e-commerce giant is looking to take a huge percentage of Ant Financials stake.
Ant Financial might not be allowed to go public while New York-listed Alibaba holds intellectual property rights tied directly to its services, according to industry insiders. Most of Alibaba's revenue comes from the fees it charges buyers and sellers to trade goods and services on its online marketplaces. Delhi-NCR-based unicorn foodtech startup Zomato has raised $200 million from Ant Small and Micro Financial Services group.
Although Alibaba's stock price recently broke through the US$200 mark, placing it in the US$500 billion market capitalisation club together with players such as Tencent and Facebook, the group's stock price plunged by about 6 per cent to close at US$192.22 on the NYSE following its earnings results.
Ant Financial is now 76.4% owned by Alibaba's management and employees. "This marks the next step in our collaboration to generate more strategic synergies and deliver tremendous value proposition to our customers". Other shareholders of the company include China sovereign-wealth fund China Investment Corp. and the country's national social security fund. Revenue from core commerce increased 57% year-over-year to $553 million (U.S. dollars) - a gain that coincides with the timing of the Singles' Day sale held on November 11, the world's biggest sales event, according to Reuters.
Revenue for the three months to December rose to 83.03 billion yuan ($13.19 billion), up from 53.2 billion yuan a year earlier. Alibaba Group founder and chairman Jack Ma coined the term New Retail in 2016 for a strategy that has been widely adopted by retailers and internet firms to use technology to transform the traditional retail sector.
"Given our strong performance and clear visibility as we approach the end of the fiscal year, we are taking up our 2018 fiscal year revenue guidance to 55 to 56 percent", said Maggie Wu, chief financial officer of Alibaba.