SINA Rides China Social Media & Microblogging Growth Bandwagon

SINA Corp. (NASDAQ: SINA) is surging this morning after the company’s user base reached the 300 million registered user mark last quarter.  The company’s Weibo microblogging site (A Chinese look-alike of Twitter) now claims to have 100 million messages sent per day.  Apparently the efforts to get Chinese users to register with agencies to prevent dissidents, slander, and propaganda has not kept a lid on its growth.  Not bad when you consider that its system has supposedly not been fully implemented.

This may be a mixed blessing, but the number of mobile posts has now passed its desktop use.  Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) devices using iOS amounted to roughly 33% of Weibo’s mobile traffic.

SINA’s growth news comes at a great time, because shares were only about 10% above the 52-week low.  After closing at $51.68, and against a 52-week trading range of $46.86 to $128.17, shares are trading up 11% at $57.57.

The news is interesting because the company warned that future results might be dragged down because of the increased investment in Weibo.  The company even noted that another operational loss may be expected in the second quarter. Another warning was that the Chinese advertising market is expected to remain weak.

As a reminder, SINA makes up more than 8% of the current weighting in the Global X Social Media Index ETF (NASDAQ: SOCL).

Shares of Renren Inc. (NYSE: RENN), which is called the Facebook-equivalent of China, are up 4.5% at $5.84 this morning.  RenRen makes up almost 4.2% of the Social Media ETF.


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