A visitor (R) communicates with a staff member (C) at the booth Alibaba at the 2023 China Cross-border E-commerce Trade Fair in Fuzhou, southeast China's Fujian Province, March 18, 2023. (Xinhua/Lin Shanchuan)
BEIJING, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- A slew of listed Chinese internet giants have released reports on their financial performances in the third quarter of 2023, revealing robust growth momentum propped up by innovation drives and reflecting the solid recovery fundamentals of the Chinese economy.
The revenues and profits of China's leading market players in the internet platform sector, including Alibaba, JD.com, Tencent and Baidu, continued their robust momentum in the first half of the year to log fast growth in the third quarter.
The financial reports have also revealed that the enterprises have increased their investment in artificial intelligence (AI), innovative services and related areas, creating new business.
Alibaba's revenues and profits in the third quarter grew 9 percent and 34 percent, respectively, from the same period last year, per the quarterly results published by the company.
Commenting on this solid performance, chief executive officer of Alibaba Group Eddie Yongming Wu said that quite a few businesses have shown new momentum and vitality, and that proactive self-transformation has achieved remarkable results.
Alibaba's businesses are seeing new growth, driven by the company's strategy of prioritizing investment in technology and innovation, said Xu Hong, chief financial officer of Alibaba.
Entering a new stage of development, the company is maintaining its entrepreneurial mentality and seizing the new opportunities brought by AI technological change, Wu added.
The company recently unveiled the latest version of its large language model, Tongyi Qianwen 2.0, and a suite of industry-specific models amid the AI-focused innovation drive of internet giants.
Other internet companies such as Tencent and Baidu have also launched their own large language models -- Tencent has Hunyuan and Baidu has the ERNIE chatbot -- while developing advertising and marketing tools based on AI technologies, aiming to sharpen their innovation capabilities and create growth.
Emerging business sectors such as video channels and mini games contribute to a high-margin revenue stream for Tencent, said Ma Huateng, chairman and CEO of the company. "We are beefing up investment in AI models to give our products new features and improve our ability to recommend content and advertising accurately," Ma added.
According to Tencent's third-quarter results published on the company's website, its total revenue was 154.6 billion yuan (about 21.7 billion U.S. dollars), an increase of 10 percent year on year.
The robust growth of China's internet giants in the third quarter has also reflected the accelerated pace of recovery in the domestic economy. E-commerce platforms, as typical service platforms provided by these companies, are important channels of consumption, said Ding Zhechuan, an internet industry analyst at China Merchants Securities.
Since the beginning of this year, the transaction values of goods and the revenues of major e-commerce platforms have returned to positive year-on-year growth, Ding noted.
He explained that the rapidly recovering economy and logistics activities, as well as the improving cost performances of goods online and increasing numbers of active users in the lower-tier market, provided new growth engines for the e-commerce platforms.
Data from the National Bureau of Statistics shows that China's online retail sales of physical goods rose 8.4 percent year on year in the first 10 months, accounting for 26.7 percent of the country's total retail sales of consumer goods.
Since the start of this year, e-commerce platforms such as Alibaba have continued to conduct share repurchases, to some extent reflecting the confidence of the enterprises in their long-term operations and the macro economy, and sending out a positive signal, Ding said.