Sina Q3 swings to profit with Weibo monetization

Chinese Internet company reports third quarter profit of US$9.9 million and plans to further monetize its microblogging service Weibo by targeting SMBs.

Chinese Internet company Sina has swung to a third quarter profit of US$9.9 million from a loss of US$336.3 million last year, boosted from its monetization of microblogging service Weibo.

In a statement Thursday, the company said net revenue increased 17 percent year-on-year to US$152.4 million. Advertising revenue rose 19 percent compared to the same period last year, reaching US$120.6 million, while non-advertising revenue rose 9 percent year-over-year to US$31.8 million.

Charles Chao, CEO and chairman of Sina, said the London 2012 Olympics which was held between July and August pushed the number of Weibo daily active users "to a new record" and registered Weibo accounts surpassed 400 million.

"We are pleased with the initial results of Weibo monetization, as advertising revenues doubled from the previous quarter  and we started revenue sharing with application developers," said Chao.

Looking forward into 2013, Chao said Sina is preparing to launch Weibo advertising solutions geared toward the small and midsize enterprise market which will open up new opportunities for Sina advertising.

In contrast to Sina, Chinese social networking company Renren fared worse during the third quarter where it widened its losses to US$15.4 million .

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