Tech in Asia reports that Chinese microblogging service Sina Weibo is enjoying increased financial success this year despite challenges from other messaging and blogging companies. Weibo has been around since 2009 and has over 500 million users posting around 100 million messages a day.
There have been dips in financial performance in the past couple years but recent numbers are good, such as:
$30 million in ad revenue during Q2 2013, representing more than 200 percent year-over-year growth. Other revenue streams are up too; added-value services jumped 186 percent year-over-year to $7.7 million. Even users are up; Weibo’s daily active users jumped to 54 million in June, an 8.6 percent increase compared to March.
The Wall Street Journal reports this success can mostly be attributed to a $568 millon deal struck with e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Alibaba now owns 18 percent of Sina and the partnership is expected to generate $380 million in revenue over the next three years.
This investment and an increased user base has led to a $6 billion valuation of the company by American investment firm Piper Jaffray.
Sina Chief Executive Charles Chao commented that these positive numbers are encouraging because “the competition for the time spent on mobile terminals has further intensified recently.”
Chao is not-so-subtly referencing Tencent’s WeChat, whose rise in both domestic and international markets has been tremendously impressive this year. While WeChat lacks the same reach and popularity of Weibo (the top 100 users on Sina’s service have over 485 million followers combined), WeChat’s social networking and chat abilities are winning users away from Weibo.
While Weibo’s market numbers suggest that any talk of doom is premature, it remains to be seen if Sina can keep posting such positive numbers with Tencent snapping at its heels.
[Image credit @cedricsam]