CHINESE e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding posted a smaller-than-expected rise in quarterly revenue on Thursday (Nov 17) as Covid-19 curbs and a worsening economic outlook stifled consumer spending.

Retail spending in China has sagged this year with consumers frustrated by the government’s strict zero-Covid policies that have led to frequent snap lockdowns and hurt economic activity.

Alibaba has also had to contend with stiff competition from the likes of Pinduoduo and ByteDance’s Douyin – the Chinese version of Tiktok – which have expanded their e-commerce offerings and taken more market share.

The company has also yet to fully recover from a regulatory crackdown on the tech sector that has curtailed growth opportunities.