August 3, 2021

(Reuters) -China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd missed analyst estimates for first-quarter revenue on Tuesday, as its e-commerce business was hurt by rising competition from smaller players such as JD.Com Inc and Pinduoduo Inc.

Alibaba’s results mirror those of e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc in the United States, as the easing of pandemic-related restrictions has led to more consumers visiting physical stores rather than ordering online.

Core commerce revenue for Alibaba rose about 35% to 180.24 billion yuan in the quarter, compared with estimates of 184.23 billion yuan. In the fourth quarter, the unit’s revenue was up more than 70%.

Overall, revenue rose about 34% to 205.74 billion yuan ($31.83 billion) in the first quarter ended June 30, below estimates for 209.39 billion yuan, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net income attributable to shareholders rose to 45.14 billion yuan, compared with 47.59 billion yuan a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned 16.60 yuan per share, above estimates for 14.43 yuan.

Ant Group, the fintech affiliate of Alibaba Group, recorded a profit of about 13.48 billion yuan in the quarter ended March, according to the Chinese e-commerce giant’s filing.

Alibaba, which holds about a third of Ant, posted a profit of 4.49 billion yuan for the quarter ended June 30 from its investments in the financial conglomerate.

The results come amid an ongoing Chinese regulatory crackdown on industry, during which Alibaba has become one of the main targets.

Late last year, regulators halted a planned $37 billion IPO of Ant Group in Shanghai and subsequently called for a restructuring of the financial unit.

Later, in April, China’s anti-monopoly regulator fined Alibaba $2.75 billion for engaging in anti-competitive practices.

($1 = 6.4628 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Bernadette Baum)

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