NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Alibaba (BABA) - Get Report shares closed Friday's trading session down 1.13% to $59.24 despite Chairman Jack Ma's optimistic comments the ecommerce giant's growth amid China's grim economic backdrop, Fortune reports.

Ma said that this year Alibaba is on track to beat Walmart (WMT) - Get Report in sales volume, Fortune noted.

"Consumption is still going up on Alibaba," Ma said on Thursday night during an interview at Stanford University's business school. "This is because when economy goes down people look online to Alibaba to buy cheaper things."

Ma's comments to defend his company comes as investors are concerned about Alibaba's growth. Last week, Barron's.com published an article about the company saying that its shares could drop 50% further.

Barron's.com cited growing e-commerce competition and China's economic turmoil for its bearish outlook.

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