What happened

Shares of Alibaba (BABA 0.80%) were sliding today as the Chinese tech giant posted its slowest growth in its publicly traded history. The company is struggling with a number of new regulations from the Chinese government.

Alibaba stock was down 3.2% as of 10:57 a.m. ET after trading as low as 8.8% earlier in the session.

A rock with the Alibaba logo outside a company office.

Image source: Alibaba.

So what

Revenue for the company, whose main business is e-commerce, rose 9.7% to $38.1 billion but that was well below its historical growth rate, which has averaged around 40% since it went public in 2014. Revenue in the quarter was also short of estimates at $38.9 billion.

Alibaba's customer base continued to grow as well, with the company adding 43 million customers in the quarter to reach a total of 1.28 billion. Its China commerce segment, which makes up the majority of its revenue, grew just 7% to $27 billion Management cited "slowing market conditions" and competition as the main reasons for the weak growth.

The company also took a $3.9 billion goodwill impairment charge in its digital media and entertainment segment, a likely response to government orders to divest some of its media assets. Adjusting for that charge, operating income fell by 34% to $5.1 billion. Management said the decline was due to investments in growth initiatives.

On a per-share basis, the company turned in a profit of $2.65, down 23% from the year-ago quarter, and ahead of estimates at $2.55.

Now what

Alibaba's results confirmed many of the biggest worries about the stock, which is that government actions have fundamentally changed the company, restraining its growth and cutting into profits. It's also added a high degree of uncertainty to Alibaba's future.

The good news is that those concerns seem to be reflected in the stock price, which is down two-thirds from its all-time high. The company has begun a share repurchase program to take advantage of the sell-off, buying $1.4 billion of stock in the most recent quarter, but the stock is unlikely to make a comeback until the regulatory environment improves.