China’s lockdowns kneecapped one of its biggest tech companies

Max Keating, DCNF

Chinese tech giant Alibaba announced Thursday that it posted its first negative quarter of growth since 2014 in Q2 2022, blaming “challenges posed by the COVID-19 resurgence,” according to a press release.

Alibaba’s April-June revenue fell 0.1% from the same period one year earlier, the equivalent of $30.7 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. The driving factor of decreasing revenue was the supply chain and logistics restrictions resulting from China’s strict “zero-COVID” policies that have ravaged the Chinese economy writ large, according to Alibaba’s press release.

“The external uncertainties including, but not limited to international geopolitical dynamics, COVID resurgence and China’s macroeconomic policies and social trends are beyond what we as a company can influence,” Alibaba’s CEO, Daniel Zhang said on a Thursday earnings call.

Alibaba shares were up about 1.3% by the end of the day Thursday as the negative 0.1% growth figure outperformed analysts’ expectations, according to the WSJ.

Alibaba executives are confident that as restrictions begin to weaken, the company is poised for continued growth.

“Following a relatively slow April and May, we saw signs of recovery across our businesses in June. We are confident in our growth opportunities in the long term given our high-quality consumer base and the resilience of our diversified business model catering to different demands of our customers,” the company said in the press release.

China locked down large parts of the country to stop the spread of COVID-19 in April and May, which dampened economic activity by adding complications to inter- and intra-city shipping, according to Reuters.

China’s economy in general also faltered in the second quarter, expanding by just 0.4% year-over-year, and actually declining from the first quarter — the first time that had happened other than in Q1 2020 when COVID-19 shut the country down entirely, the Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported.

Alibaba did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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