纽约时报文摘 | 阿里巴巴业绩强劲,中国消费者仍在“买买买”

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BEIJING — The Chinese consumer isn’t dead yet.
北京——中国消费者还算活跃。

So says Alibaba Group, the Chinese e-commerce giant, which on Thursday reported strong financial results for the three months that ended in June, despite China’s slowing economic growth and a trade war with the United States that has hit the country’s factories.
尽管中国经济增长放缓,而且与美国的贸易战已经对中国工厂造成打击,但中国的电商巨头阿里巴巴集团是这么说的,该公司周四公布了截至6月的季度财报。

The results, from a company that symbolizes the rising confidence of the Chinese consumer, suggest a mixed picture for the world’s second-largest economy after the United States. Just the day before, the country reported its worst monthly figures for industrial output in 17 years. Exports have fallen, though they rose unexpectedly in July, and the country’s factories are having a harder time charging higher prices for the goods they turn out.
阿里巴巴是一家代表中国消费者信心不断提升的公司,从这些财务业绩看,中国这个位居美国之后的全球第二大经济体的前景喜忧参半。就在一天前,中国给出了17年来最为糟糕的工业产出月度数据。出口下降(尽管7月出人意料地有所上升),而且该国的工厂生产出的商品难以卖出更高价格。

But Alibaba’s results point to strengths. Though the pace of growth has slowed, Alibaba is still adding customers. China’s overall retail sales growth, while also slowing, is still strong compared with that of other countries.
但阿里巴巴的财报业绩指向了增长力量。尽管增速放缓,但阿里巴巴的顾客仍在增加。中国的整体零售销售增长尽管也在放缓,但与其他国家相比,仍很强劲。

“The question that is invariably asked is: How does Alibaba’s business, which is consumption-driven, continue to deliver robust growth despite challenges in the broader economy?” an Alibaba co-founder, Joseph Tsai, said in a conference call.
“问题一直在于:尽管整体经济面临挑战,阿里巴巴由消费驱动的业务如何实现持续的强劲增长?”阿里巴巴联合创始人蔡崇信在电话会议中表示。

“I want to offer two reasons. Both are big secular trends that are happening in China that we have taken advantage of. First is demographics, and the second is the rapid pace of digitization.”
“我想有两点原因。这两点都是目前中国出现的长期大趋势,我们都从中受益过。第一点是人口结构,第二点是数字化的快速步伐。”

China’s $5.5 trillion domestic consumption market is driven by the emergence of a middle class of over 300 million people living in large cities as well as the rapid urbanization of the countryside, Mr. Tsai said.
中国5.5万亿美元的国内消费市场,由居住在大城市以及快速城镇化的乡村新出现的3亿多中产阶级驱动,蔡崇信说。

The question for Alibaba — and for China’s leaders as the trade war grinds on — is how long that strength will last and whether it will be enough to blunt other headwinds.
对于阿里巴巴(以及随着贸易战持续,对于中国领导人)来说,问题是这股力量能持续多久,是否足以减弱其他经济不利因素。

Alibaba said on Thursday that revenue rose 42 percent, to $16.7 billion. Its net profit more than doubled to $3.1 billion from a year earlier, when costs involving employee compensation sharply reduced the bottom line. The company’s shares, which trade in New York, rose about 3 percent in early trading.
阿里巴巴周四表示,营收增长42%,达167亿美元。净利润同比增长一倍有余,达31亿美元,去年同期,包括员工补偿在内的费用大幅削减了该公司的净利润。在纽约交易的阿里巴巴股价早盘上涨约3%。

Alibaba’s earnings were consistent with retail sales in China that showed shoppers continued to spend. According to official statistics,?retail sales?rose 8.3 percent in the first seven months of the year compared with a year earlier, though July retail sales were up 7.6 percent, missing estimates.
阿里巴巴的收入与中国的零售销售额情况相一致,表明购物者仍在继续支出。官方数据显示,今年前7个月,零售额同比增长8.3%,尽管7月的零售数据只增长了7.6%,不及预期。

“Confidence has improved somewhat,” said Wang Tao, chief China economist for UBS. “Late last year, there was a wall of uncertainty.”
“信心多少有些提升,”瑞银(UBS)首席中国经济学家汪涛说 。“去年年底,有一堵不确定的墙。”

Ms. Wang cited a survey of 3,000 consumers that UBS conducted in May that showed consumers were still buying because they said their salaries had increased and their property wealth had risen. “In general, the trade war has not had a big impact on the labor market,” she said.
汪涛以瑞银五月份对3000名消费者所作问卷调查作为依据,该调查显示,消费者仍在购买,因为他们说自己的工资上涨,物业财富也有所上涨。“总体来说,贸易战对劳动力市场还没有造成大影响,”她说。

It is not clear how long that will last. Ms. Wang said she believes the tariffs could still add to economic uncertainties and that it could slow growth.
尚不清楚这会持续多久。汪涛说她相信关税仍会增加经济的不确定性,可能导致增长放缓。

But e-commerce remains an area where shoppers seem to be still optimistic. Case in point: Alibaba’s closest rival, JD.com. On Tuesday, the company posted a profit of $90.1 million, compared to a net loss of $310 million a year ago.
但在电子商务领域,购物者似乎仍然感到乐观。阿里巴巴的主要对手京东就是一个好例子。周二,该公司录得9010万美元的盈利,去年同期,该公司亏损3.1亿美元。

Alibaba’s strong result did not come just from consumer growth. The company, which provides digital marketplaces in which retailers set up virtual shops to sell their wares, said its strong results came in part from improved algorithms that better connected buyers and sellers.
阿里巴巴的强劲业绩并不只是来自于消费者增长。该公司提供数字市场,供零售商可以设立虚拟店铺,销售货物。该公司表示,其强劲业绩在一定程度上来源于算法的优化,得以更好地将买家与卖家连接起来。

It also saw strong sales growth from the commissions it charges retailers for using its services, in another positive sign. As China’s economic news turned markedly gloomier toward the end of last year, Alibaba executives said that the company would delay charging merchants higher rates for placing ads on its digital shopping sites.
该公司还从收取的零售商服务费用中,看到了强劲的销售增长,这是另一个积极信号。随着中国的经济新闻在去年年底时明显变得悲观,阿里巴巴高管曾表示,商家在其数字店铺中放置广告时,该公司将推迟收取更高费用。

The company also added customers at a slowing but still healthy clip. In the last quarter, the number of annual active consumers rose by one-sixth, to 674 million. That was a slower pace than the increase from a year before but still showed interest by consumers wanting to buy goods online.
该公司还以缓慢但仍然健康的速度增加顾客。在上一季度,年度活跃消费者增加六分之一,达6.74亿。增幅低于去年同期,但仍显示出消费者的网购兴趣。

Alibaba may have also benefited from shifts in what Chinese consumers want to buy. Analysts say the trade war with the United States has prompted shoppers to become more selective, and many have switched to buying domestic brands that they feel are of high quality.
阿里巴巴可能还从中国消费者购买意愿的转变中受益。分析人士表示,与美国的贸易战导致购物者变得更为精挑细选,许多人转而购买他们认为质量好的国产品牌。

“There’s definitely a ‘China for China’ trend that’s happening right now, meaning people shifting toward domestic brands,” said Ben Cavender, a senior analyst at China Market Research, a consultancy based in Shanghai.
“现在绝对有一个‘中国原创’的趋势,意思就是人们开始转向国产品牌,”位于上海的咨询公司中国市场研究(China Market Research)的资深分析师凯文德(Ben Cavender)说。

Even though Alibaba makes nearly all of its money in China, the company’s shares have swung wildly this year as the trade war has continued on its roller-coaster course. Since talks between Washington and Beijing hit an?impasse in May, Alibaba shares have lost around 15 percent of their value.
尽管阿里巴巴的几乎所有利润都是来自中国,但随着贸易战局势不断发生急剧变化,该公司股价今年也出现了大幅波动。自华盛顿与北京的谈判在5月陷入僵局后,阿里巴巴的股价蒸发了约15%。

Alibaba is?considering a second share listing?in Hong Kong. That would allow mainland Chinese investors to invest more easily in the company and give it a backup source of funding in case Washington decides to curb Chinese businesses’ access to Wall Street.
阿里巴巴正在考虑在香港二次上市。这将使得中国大陆的投资者更容易将资金投到该公司,让其获得一个后备资金来源,以免华盛顿决定限制中国企业进入华尔街。

The company received an unwelcome bit of publicity last week when?Malaysia filed criminal charges?against several people, including Alibaba’s president,?Michael Evans, a former Goldman Sachs executive, in connection with a multibillion-dollar fraud scandal. Alibaba said at the time that it was monitoring the situation.
上周,该公司收获了一些他们不太欢迎的曝光,马拉西亚对包括阿里巴巴总裁迈克尔·埃文斯(Michael Evans)在内的几人提起刑事诉讼,原因是他们与一起数十亿美元的诈骗丑闻有关,埃文斯是前高盛(Goldman Sachs)高管。阿里巴巴表示,他们在关注事态发展。

Mr. Tsai and other executives did not comment on the accusations on Thursday.
蔡崇信及其他高管周四没有就这些指控置评。

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