Chinese company SINA Corp (NASDAQ:SINA) is planning to follow-up its Twitter (TWTR)-like microblog service, Weibo, in a US initial public offering (IPO) to raise US$500 million, according to a person with knowledge of the deal said on Tuesday.
The person, who revealed this information, wasn’t authorised to speak publicly about the deal of SINA Corp, said investment banks Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs had been hired to manage the IPO in New York.
SINA Corp (NASDAQ:SINA)’s plans were first reported by the Financial Times on Monday. Chinese Internet Company’s IPO plans come as other Chinese internet heavyweights prepare for share sales.
At the end of 2013, Chinese microblogs had 281 million users, that is down 9 percent over the previous year, according to the China Internet Network Information Center. The fall comes as Chinese web users shift to smartphone-based instant messaging services such as Tencent’s WeChat, which has surged in popularity since 2012, threatening Sina Weibo’s dominance in information sharing. WeChat and similar apps are increasingly incorporating social media functions that resemble microblog features.
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On Monday SINA reported fourth quarter earnings jumped 18-fold to $44.5 million as Weibo turned an operating profit for the first time thanks to rising revenue from advertising, games and VIP membership fees.