In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Tuesday, e-commerce giant Alibaba Group announced that it had “become the largest retail economy in the world” at the end of its fiscal year on March 31, “as measured by gross merchandise volume (GMV) on its China retail marketplaces.” The company has yet to declare its financial results for its last quarter and the complete fiscal year, but the announcement makes it clear that it surpassed the $482.1 billion revenue reported by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. for its fiscal year ended Jan. 31.
Two weeks prior to the SEC filing, Alibaba’s Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai announced in a blog post on March 21 that “with 10 days remaining in our fiscal year ending March 2016, Alibaba's China retail marketplace platforms surpassed RMB 3 trillion [yuan] in GMV. That is about [$]476 billion in U.S. dollars and, if the platforms we operate were a province, we would rank as the 6th largest provincial economy in China.”
According to another statement from Alibaba, its online trading volume had reached about 10 percent of the total retail volume in China and directly generated 15 million jobs as well.
“We used 13 years to demonstrate the power of a different business model compared with brick-and-mortar retailers,” the statement said, according to the China Daily.
The Hangzhou-headquartered e-commerce behemoth has already set itself the goal of reaching annual GMV of 6 trillion yuan by 2020.
For an e-commerce company like Alibaba, GMV is the total value of all products sold through its online platform, and is different from the company’s revenue, which would typically be calculated as a sum of the commission it earns from sales on its platform.
Alibaba also completed its takeover of Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post Tuesday. Following the takeover, the news website became completely free for readers.
Shares of both Alibaba and Walmart fell during Tuesday trade by 2.23 percent and 0.71 percent respectively.