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Sina seeks new revenues as WeChat snaps at its heels

By Chen Limin (China Daily)

08:20, February 05, 2013

A man holding a Sina Weibo logo in Beijing. Weibo accounted for 16 percent of Sina's total advertising revenue, which stood at $120.6 million, in the third quarter, up from 10 percent in the second quarter, according to Charles Chao, Sina's chairman and chief executive officer. [Photo/China Daily]

Chinese Web portal operator Sina Corp, which runs the country's most popular micro-blogging service, is stepping up efforts to generate revenues from the service, amid investors' concerns that it is not making as much money as expected.

The company generates most of its revenues from its micro-blogging service, Sina Weibo, through advertising. It has been trying to expand into other areas, including e-commerce and games, to fuel growth.

However, analysts remain conservative about the result of Sina's attempt to translate traffic into revenues.

Last month, Sina joined hands with German premium carmaker Mercedes-Benz (China) Ltd to sell 666 smart cars on Weibo. All of the cars were sold in about eight hours, said Mercedes-Benz on its official micro blog.

This is the second effort Sina took to try its luck with e-commerce. In December, it worked with Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp to sell the Mi-2 smartphone through Weibo. A total of 50,000 smartphones were sold in less than six minutes.

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