Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sina Weibo went into the black in the fourth quarter of 2013 for the first time, but...

SINA corporation published the financial results in the fourth quarter of 2013, and they also published the financial results of Sina Weibo there.

According to this report, Sina Weibo went into the black in the fourth quarter of 2013 for the first time, their sales revenue was 71.4 million USD in total.

The breakdown of total revenue was composed of 56.0 million USD of ad revenue and 15.4 million USD of service revenue. Its ads revenue increased 163% compared with the year-earlier period, and its service revenue increased 114% compared with the year-earlier period.

Sina Weibo was also increasing their revenue on the second quarter and the third quarter compared with each year-earlier period, so it can be said that their sales performance has been continuously growing.

And according to the information from Financial Times, Sina Weibo prepares New York IPO in the second quarter of this year.

Judging only from their financial results and the rumor of IPO, their future seems to be rosy. But I think there are two main anxiety of them.

- The percentage of ad revenue was too high.
As everyone knows, the customer basically would like to advertise on the platform that has a lot of active users. But as I repeatedly said, Sina Weibo has continuously decreased their active users. In the interview of this financial results, the official said their active user increased to 61.4 million in December. But I feel this comment is unbelievable.

I have login to Sina Weibo everyday since 2010 to watch the number of active friend user, and I also have checked the traffic from Sina Weibo to the official site of our company every week. But as I said before, both are continuously decreasing.

I think it is high time to reconsider countermeasures to increase their active users. Otherwise they will also decrease the sponsor of advertisement.

- There are no remarkable outcome from the relationship with Alibaba.
As you know, Alibaba acquired 18% share of Sina Weibo in 586 million USD last April. And they also started alliance activity at same time, but till now, it seems that there are no remarkable outcome from it.

Alibaba is the giant company in Chinese EC industry, and they also have a lot of giant group company, such as Taobao and Alipay. So there should be a lot of method to enhance their relationship. But it seems that their remarkable outcome is only that ads posting or banner increased on Sina Weibo.

I think that they also have to consider this countermeasure in earnest.

Anyway, we have to continue watching their action as ever.

Source => Official financial report from Sina corp. , TechWeb