On Wednesday China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported online retail sales in the country reached $205.8 billion for the first two months of 2018, a 37% increase from a year ago, and an acceleration from the 32% growth rate in the same period in 2017.

Wall Street firm Jeffries opined that “we believe the strong online retail sales in spite of weak seasonality could be attributed to:

1) a longer-than-usual shopping window prior to Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday; 2) increased rural consumption spending over CNY from post-80s with smart home electronics and imported fresh goods showing fast growth; 3) step-up in online-offline promotional efforts, e.g. red packets, Taobao-RTmart (SunArt) promotion; 4) enhanced logistics service for fresh goods, e.g. Hema,” Jefferies analyst Karen Chan said in a note to clients.[1]

Shares of New York-traded Alibaba rose more than 3 percent Thursday morning, hitting a high of $199.50 pershare.[2] The Wall Street Journal also reported early Thursday that the company is considering a moving their stock listing home to mainland China.[3]