RPT-Alibaba revenue growth seen slowest on record; to intensify fight with JD.com
(Repeats story moved on Monday with no changes)
* Shifts focus to wealthier customers after rural push
* Competition with JD.com set to intensify
* Alibaba reports Q3 results Thursday
By John Ruwitch and Paul Carsten
SHANGHAI/BEIJING, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is expected to post its weakest quarterly revenue growth on record, Thomson Reuters data shows, a slowdown analysts say will heat up the battle with smaller rival JD.com Inc in a tougher economy.
Alibaba's revenue for the quarter ending December is projected to grow at 26.6 percent, according to a Thomson Reuters SmartEstimate survey of 28 analysts, which would be the slowest rate since the company started publishing such data 3-1/2 years ago.
The pace also lags the 47-51 percent revenue growth JD.com projected for the same period, which is also the slowest expansion since the company started releasing records.
Alibaba and JD.com declined to comment, citing the pre-earnings quiet period. Continued...