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Alibaba overtakes Walmart as world’s largest retailer

Alibaba, online retailer, Chinese e-commerce

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said that it has officially become the world's largest retail platform, with its trading volume online in the fiscal year ending in March 2016 surpassing Walmart's annual sales.


The Hangzhou-headquartered e-commerce giant didn't reveal the total gross merchandize volume (GMV) in the fiscal year ending in March. But it announced on March 21 that its China retail marketplace platforms have already surpassed the milestone of 3 trillion yuan in GMV in the latest fiscal year.


Alibaba's fiscal year started on April 1 and ends on March 31. Wal-Mart Stores Inc posted revenue of $482.1 billion for its fiscal year ending Jan 31.


Alibaba said in a statement that the record-breaking GMV shows that the world's largest retail marketplace has shifted from offline to online. "We used 13 years to demonstrate the power of a different business model compared with brick-and-mortar retailers," the statement said. According to Alibaba, its online trading volume accounted for 10 percent of the overall retail volume in China and it directly generated 15 million jobs. Alibaba has already set a goal to achieve an annual trading volume of 6 trillion yuan by 2020 and help 90 percent of its retailers increase their operational efficiency.


"In 2024, we want to be a business platform serving 2 billion consumers and tens of millions of enterprises at home and abroad," Zhang Yong, chief executive officer of Alibaba, said a recent press event.


The company will strive to combine cloud computing and big data technologies with the internet and the Internet of Things, as well as consumer terminal equipment, to spur its development, Zhang said.



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