Sina Weibo: Profits at 'China's Twitter' surge

Weibo logo Internet users have regularly tapped into Weibo to share unfiltered information

Related Stories

Profits at Sina Corp, owner of China's largest Twitter-like site Weibo, surged in the fourth quarter, boosted by a jump in advertising revenue.

It reported a net profit of $44.5m (£26.7m) in the October-to-December period, up from $2.4m a year ago.

The numbers come amid reports that Sina is planning to list Weibo in the US and that it plans to raise nearly $500m by selling Weibo shares.

Weibo claims that it has over 500 million registered users.

China is the world's biggest internet market and social networking sites have become increasingly popular with users.

As a result, many firms have turned to the medium to advertise their products and services in an attempt to attract new customers, helping boost growth of companies such as Sina.

According to the firm's latest numbers, advertising revenues at Weibo rose to $56m during the fourth quarter - a 163% jump from a year earlier.

"The strong performance of Weibo's advertising and value-added services in the fourth quarter allowed us to end 2013 with strong top line and bottom line growth," said Charles Chao, chief executive of Sina.

Growing user base

However, a report published last month indicated that the number of Weibo users declined steeply in 2013.

Sina Weibo

Sina Weibo logo
  • The largest microblog provider in China
  • Says it has over 500m registered users
  • Says that one in two Chinese netizens were users in 2012

The China Internet Network Information Center said in its annual report that almost 28 million people abandoned Weibo last year.

The fall marked the site's first drop in usage amid a government crackdown on so-called 'rumour mongers' online.

Weibo's surge in popularity gave users new opportunities for self-expression, but it also attracted the attention of authorities who moved swiftly to silence voices online.

A law was introduced to allow the Chinese government to jail microbloggers and dozens more were arrested.

Web users are believed to have migrated to mobile messaging platforms.

Mr Chao of Sina said the firm "will continue to focus on growing Weibo's user base and user engagement" in the current year.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Business stories

RSS

BBC Business Live

  1.  
    INTEREST RATES 06:10: Radio 5 live
    Bank of England

    A rise in interest rates is "long overdue", economist Peter Warburton tells Wake Up to Money. The minutes from August's meeting of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee are out later and could show some members favoured a rate rise. Mr Warburton thinks several economic indicators suggest rates should already have gone up.

     
  2.  
    PALLADIUM PRICES 06:02: Radio 5 live

    Jim Slade, a director of European Exhaust & Catalyst, is on Wake Up to Money talking about palladium, which is used in catalytic converters. The price of palladium has risen by 25% this year. "There's a lot of debate about Russia and whether they have a huge stockpile or whether it's depleted," he says.

     
  3.  
    06:00: Nick Edser, Business reporter

    Good morning. You can email us at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk and tweet us at @bbcbusiness.

     
  4.  
    06:00: Howard Mustoe Business reporter

    Hello. Today we can look forward to minutes from the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee, plus company results and analysis. Stay tuned.

     

Features

  • OrangemanPunctured pride?

    How would N Ireland's Orangemen feel if Scotland left the union?


  • Sheep on Achill IslandMass exodus

    Why hundreds of thousands of people have left Ireland


  • MarchionessThames tragedy

    Survivors and victims' families remember Marchioness disaster


  • A teenaged mother in the Zaatari campUntold misery

    The plight of Syria's refugee child brides


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.