Alibaba’s hold over the online shopping habits of Chinese consumers drove quarterly sales and earnings that topped analyst estimates. Revenue jumped 56% and profit nearly doubled in the June quarter, fueled by a core commerce business that’s adding users and increasing how much they spend. That’s being bolstered by a cloud computing division with more than a million customers, helping investors shrug off slowing growth in digital media, which includes a Netflix-like streaming service. The shares rose 3.5% to $165.15 at 9:50 a.m. in New York. Alibaba, which generates revenue from merchants on its online platforms, shored up its lead in digital advertising through sharper targeting of its 466 million active consumers. According to Bloomberg, that’s buying time for Chairman Jack Ma to venture into traditional stores, which still account for 85% of Chinese retail, where he is experimenting with supermarkets that combine fresh groceries, dining and fulfillment centers.
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