Goldpebble Sees Sina (NASDAQ:SINA) Weibo Paying Users Surging and Monetization Accelerating

Goldpebble Sees Sina (NASDAQ:SINA) Weibo Paying Users Surging and Monetization

PR Newswire


SINGAPORE, HONG KONG and SHANGHAI, Feb. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Goldpebble
Research Pte. Ltd. ("Goldpebble"), an independent research company focusing on
processing public information by using its proprietary algorithm, today
released a research summary on SINA Corporation ("Sina", NASDAQ: SINA) (Report
link: The summary shared the recent
contrarian view on Sina Weibo based on the data processed with Goldpebble's
Weibo Activity Monitoring System (GPWAMS).

  oWith GPWAMS, Goldpebble sees Weibo user activities have been growing over
    the past months. Weibo paying users and enterprise users have surged while
    the growth of users blogging daily and monthly has decelerated. Total
    Weibo users, daily blogging users and monthly blogging users reached a new
    high of 363mn*, 14.7mn* and 50.9mn* respectively in December 2012. The
    number of enterprise users accelerated to 354k* from 328k* in November.
    The number of paying users more than doubled from 308k* in November to
    691k* in December.
  oThe bear view is that fast growing Tencent Wechat has taken the majority
    user share from Weibo. Goldpebble disagrees after looking into the reasons
    behind the recent paying user surge.
  oGoldpebble also believes that with the CEO in charge of Weibo's business
    and the whole company focusing on mobile, 2013 will be the start of the
    platform's monetization and estimates the revenue from Weibo's banner ads
    for branding clients will be limited by display space and capped at
    $371mn* per year.
  oGoldpebble thinks Sina needs to develop a social based advertising system
    to increase the revenue from SMEs without compromising user experience.
    Goldpebble sees Sina is ready to release a priority display on their
    follower's' page and is testing suggested post, location, and search
    result recommendations. These features are based on a very similar
    technology framework that Facebook implemented.
  oGoldpebble has been counting Weibo's advertising banners on the PC,
    Android phone and iPhone for the past weeks. We found Weibo already
    penetrated over 60 top global brands as well as top local brands. We did a
    further screen of top global 500 brands and found that 211* of them have
    Weibo enterprise accounts with an average of 218k* fans/followers.
  oGoldpebble thinks China has its unique culture, internet development,
    consumption pattern, and online spending behavior. The monetization path
    Sina is following is unprecedented in China. Weibo is doing more than
    advertising. Goldpebble looked into its monetization of its 229* web
    games, 15,697* Weibo apps and the Android app store inside Weibo app,
    fulfilled sales transaction.
  oGoldpebble believes a strategic partnership with current P4P search
    providers like Baidu (search links) or Alibaba (Taobao through train) may
    bring mutual benefit to both parties. Baidu is the largest online
    advertising platform with more than $1 billion quarterly revenue and
    Taobao through train is making around $700 million* quarterly revenue.
    Sina, with $100 million earned from fixed banner ads from the portal and
    $20 million from fixed banner ads on Weibo, may instantly monetize its
    traffic while Baidu and/or Alibaba can not only get revenue but one of the
    best mobile app users in China. Alibaba's Taobao and Sina's Weibo are
    already referring two-way traffic leads to one another and utilizing the
    traffic creates more synergy between them. It has been confirmed by
    several media reports that Alibaba and Baidu are both in talks with Sina
    about buying a part of Weibo.

"We invested heavily on primary data acquisition systems that help us not only
to monitor the business progress of a company but also to better understand a
business. That's the reason why we can capture opportunities when there are
discrepancies between what the capital market thinks and how a business is
running," said Yifeng Mao, CFA, founder and head of research of Goldpebble,
after releasing the report.

"We did an unparalleled job on providing unbiased and accurate data and fact
based research to the market about Chinese companies. Understanding both
investment research and information technology, Goldpebble strives to find
relevant and actionable data and information from public sources both online
and offline. We are expanding our geographic coverage to not only Chinese
companies but also overseas companies with a presence in China, i.e. Yum!
Brands, Inc., and Coach, Inc.," Yifeng further explained about Goldpebble's

About Goldpebble

Goldpebble is an independent research company that relies on public
information and its own proprietary data-processing algorithm. Goldpebble
focuses on companies, industries and the macro-economy in China. Goldpebble
emphasizes on compliance, transparency and effective methods of doing quality
research, identifying relevant information and investment hypothesis from a
sea of public data sources. Goldpebble boasts a world class team of engineers
and research analysts. For more information about Goldpebble, please visit or follow us on Weibo

*Goldpebble's proprietary data, in this report, are processed with
Goldpebble's algorithm and due diligence team from Weibo's website, company
filings to SEC and other public information sources.

For product and data inquiries, please contact:

Yifeng Mao
Goldpebble Research Pte. Ltd.
Tel: +65 3156 3622

Hong Kong:
Victoria Le
Goldpebble Research Company Limited
Tel: +852-8120 9565

Yifeng Mao
Goldpebble Research Shanghai Representative Office
Tel: +86-21-5161 9106

SOURCE Goldpebble Research

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