Weibo value estimated at USD 5.1b
2014-March-4 Source: Szdaily web edition
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Sina Corp.’s Weibo unit is valued at US$5.1 billion by analysts after posting its first profit as China’s largest Twitter-like microblogging platform is said to seek an initial public offering in the United States.

Sina Weibo may be valued between US$3.3 billion to US$7 billion, according to 10 analysts. Using the midpoint of estimates for analysts providing a range, Sina Weibo may be worth US$5.1 billion.

Sina Weibo earned a profit in the fourth quarter for the first time, as the business attracted more companies to buy advertisements on the platform. Sina Weibo is working closer with China’s largest e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to fend off competition from Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat messaging application.

“We expect monetization of Weibo to be well executed,” Thomas Chong, an analyst at Bank of China International Holdings Ltd. (BOCI) in Hong Kong wrote in a Feb. 25 report. “Management considers driving user engagement a key focus amidst the fierce competition.”

BOCI values Sina Weibo at US$4 billion, Chong said.

The highest potential valuation was from China International Capital Corp., which estimated Sina Weibo at as much as US$7 billion, according to a Feb. 26 note.

Sina could raise US$500 million in an IPO in the United States and has hired Credit Suisse Group AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.

Sina Weibo was China’s biggest microblogging outlet with 61.4 million daily active users at the end of December, rising from 58.9 million as of September and 36 percent higher than a year earlier, Sina chairman Charles Chao said on an earnings call Feb. 25.

Editor: Olivia
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