On Friday, Alibaba Group posted forecast-beating sales and profits for the fourth quarter as more people shopped online for necessities due to coronavirus lockdowns.

As people stayed indoors and brick-and - mortar stores remained shut down during the health crisis, online orders rose, with the core business of the company rising almost 19 per cent to 93.87 billion yuan ($13.16 billion) in the quarter.

Revenue rose about 58 percent in its cloud computing business.

Alibaba CFO Maggie Wu said the results contrasted with previous quarter guidance from the company when it had predicted a drop in revenue.

"I am pleased to say that we posted better than expected results for the March portion," she said.

The e-commerce company said it planned to produce more than 650 billion yuan in sales in fiscal 2021, with China's economy picking up again well ahead of major economies in Europe and the United States.

Overall sales for Alibaba increased to 114.31 billion yuan ($16.02 billion) in the quarter ended March 31 from about 93.50 billion yuan a year earlier. Analysts had anticipated revenue of 107.04 billion yuan, according to Refinitiv IBES results.

The company said the amount of the gross merchandise for the first time in its fiscal year ending in March reached $1 trillion.

The business received 9.20 yuan per US Depository Share, except products. According to Refinitiv, data analysts were forecasting 6.10 yuan per ADS.

The company's U.S.-listed shares were up slightly in pre-bell trade.

CFO Wu said the company is closely tracking a bill passed by the U.S. this week. Senator that would allow listed businesses to declare that they don't own a foreign government. The bill is written to apply to all foreign companies but is geared at China.

"The financial statements of Alibaba are prepared according to the U.S. GAAP ..." Wu said, referring to the U.S. accounting laws. "Since 2014 we have been an SEC filer and hold on to the highest transparency level."