Sina Corporation is an online media company targeting the global Chinese community. Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Shanghai, it is publicly traded in the US on NASDAQ where it IPO`d in 2000. It operates some of the most popular web portals and social media sites in China which feature targeted content. Users browse most content for free, and the company monetizes its readership by selling advertisements similar to traditional media formats. Historically, the company’s web portals have been the most important channel for reaching users, but its social media platform, Weibo, continues to gain in significance for the company following its launch in late 2009.
The company sells advertisements, which constitutes about 80% of its revenue, on its web portals (please click here to see it’s various portals) and social media properties. Sina operates multiple portal sites for audiences in different places (mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, etc), featuring a wide range of content. The mix of content enables the company to offer advertising clients placement in specific areas of interest (sports or finance, luxury etc) to reach their target audience. The majority of Sina’s advertising business is brand advertising, which focuses on building a brand opposed to influencing an immediate purchasing decision.
Pricing for advertising can vary based on the portal property, as well as which channel (sports, auto, finance, news, entertainment, etc.) the advertiser chooses. Examples of pricing are shown below (taken from the 2014 advertising rate card)
· Homepage banner (top of page, 1000x90 pixels, all 5 slots): 450,000 RMB per day (or 100 RMB per CPM/day)
· Homepage banner (top of page, 1000x90 pixels, first slot in rotation): 430,000 RMB per day
· Homepage button (near top of page, 240x350 pixels): 450,000 RMB per day
· Fashion page button (marriage section, 300x200 pixels): 15,000 RMB per day
· Homepage text links (near autos section): 180,000 RMB per day
· Sina news page text link (near society news, right side): 12,000 RMB per day
Major revenue streams are from customers in the automotive, fast-moving consumer goods, Internet services, financial services, IT and telecommunication industries. The company suggested that its target customers are multinationals and large domestic companies looking to build their brand within China.
The company’s non-advertising business includes Mobile Value Added Services, Weibo Value Added Services, online games, and other fee-based services the company provides.
Current company information and investor news is available via its English homepage found here.