epa06303991 (FILE) - A file photo dated 04 November 2013 showing an employee walking past a logo of Alibaba Group at its base on the outskirts of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China. Alibaba Group were to announce their September quarter 2017 results on 02 November 2017.  EPA/JEFF LEE
Information gathered by Chinese internet major a plus for product makers and marketers alike. EPA

Alibaba beats profit estimates as tech earnings season enters full swing

Alibaba's revenues beat analysts' expectations for  its financial third quarter, the company announced yesterday, as analysts awaited earnings announcements from Amazon, Apple and Google's parent Alphabet.

Revenues of China's largest e-commerce firm  rose 56 per cent year-on-year in the three months ending December to 83 billion yuan (Dh48.4bn), coming in ahead of the 79.8bn average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

Alibaba, whose 2014 IPO in New York set a record for the world’s largest sharelisting, said on Thursday that it would acquire a 33 per cent stake in its payment affiliate Ant Financial, the world’s most valuable FinTech firm.

“This acquisition of Ant Financial’s stake could be a preparation for its potential IPO,” Steven Zhu, a Shanghai-based analyst with Pacific Epoch, told Bloomberg.

“Alibaba was able to improve revenue growth because performance-based ads were able to generate better revenue on mobile apps and its catered user pages drove more sales.”

Alibaba's earnings came ahead of results from its US counterpart Amazon, which was due to release its fourth quarter results as The National went to press.

Amazon shares rose strongly in pre-trade before Thursday’s open, on the expectation that the retailer’s results will be lifted by strong sales from the holiday season.


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Apple is expected to report record profits early Friday morning UAE time. But analysts are increasingly concerned that the company's flagship iPhone X, launched in November, is experiencing slower-than-forecast sales.

Amazon, Apple and Google’s parent Alphabet are all due to release their quarterly results after the close of trading in New York on Thursday.

The world’s largest tech firms have so far reported mixed fortunes for the three months to the end of December.

Facebook’s shares dropped after the social networking company said that time spent on its site fell by 5 per cent during the quarter, even before making sweeping changes to its newsfeed. The stock has subsequently rebounded following the company’s earnings call disclosed that the average price per Facebook ad rose by 43 per cent during the quarter.

E-commerce platform eBay’s shares surged 11 per cent on Thursday after reporting a 10 per cent rise in gross merchandise volume to $24.4bn for the quarter.

Things were not so rosy for the platform’s payments partner PayPal, after eBay announced it had signed up a Dutch payments firm, Adyen, as a new primary payment processor.


Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2


Aston Martin Rapide AMR

Engine: 6.0-litre V12

Transmission: Touchtronic III eight-speed automatic

Power: 595bhp

Torque: 630Nm

Price: Dh999,563


Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

How Filipinos in the UAE invest

A recent survey of 10,000 Filipino expatriates in the UAE found that 82 per cent have plans to invest, primarily in property. This is significantly higher than the 2014 poll showing only two out of 10 Filipinos planned to invest.

Fifty-five percent said they plan to invest in property, according to the poll conducted by the New Perspective Media Group, organiser of the Philippine Property and Investment Exhibition. Acquiring a franchised business or starting up a small business was preferred by 25 per cent and 15 per cent said they will invest in mutual funds. The rest said they are keen to invest in insurance (3 per cent) and gold (2 per cent).

Of the 5,500 respondents who preferred property as their primary investment, 54 per cent said they plan to make the purchase within the next year. Manila was the top location, preferred by 53 per cent.

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo

Power: 201hp at 5,200rpm

Torque: 320Nm at 1,750-4,000rpm

Transmission: 6-speed auto

Fuel consumption: 8.7L/100km

Price: Dh133,900

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 3.0-litre six-cylinder MHEV

Power: 360bhp

Torque: 500Nm

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Price: from Dh282,870

On sale: now

Russia's Muslim Heartlands

Dominic Rubin, Oxford


Director: Michael Mann

Starring: Adam Driver, Penelope Cruz, Shailene Woodley, Patrick Dempsey

Rating: 3/5


Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Normcore explained

Something of a fashion anomaly, normcore is essentially a celebration of the unremarkable. The term was first popularised by an article in New York magazine in 2014 and has been dubbed “ugly”, “bland’ and "anti-style" by fashion writers. It’s hallmarks are comfort, a lack of pretentiousness and neutrality – it is a trend for those who would rather not stand out from the crowd. For the most part, the style is unisex, favouring loose silhouettes, thrift-shop threads, baseball caps and boyish trainers. It is important to note that normcore is not synonymous with cheapness or low quality; there are high-fashion brands, including Parisian label Vetements, that specialise in this style. Embraced by fashion-forward street-style stars around the globe, it’s uptake in the UAE has been relatively slow.

Safety 'top priority' for rival hyperloop company

The chief operating officer of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Andres de Leon, said his company's hyperloop technology is “ready” and safe.

He said the company prioritised safety throughout its development and, last year, Munich Re, one of the world's largest reinsurance companies, announced it was ready to insure their technology.

“Our levitation, propulsion, and vacuum technology have all been developed [...] over several decades and have been deployed and tested at full scale,” he said in a statement to The National.

“Only once the system has been certified and approved will it move people,” he said.

HyperloopTT has begun designing and engineering processes for its Abu Dhabi projects and hopes to break ground soon. 

With no delivery date yet announced, Mr de Leon said timelines had to be considered carefully, as government approval, permits, and regulations could create necessary delays.

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

Blue Beetle

Director: Angel Manuel Soto
Stars: Xolo Mariduena, Adriana Barraza, Damian Alcazar, Raoul Max Trujillo, Susan Sarandon, George Lopez
Rating: 4/5 

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