China’s Twitter-like Weibo service won’t seek an IPO, says CEO

Huge Chinese Internet portal Sina denied today that it has plans to launch an IPO for its popular Weibo microblogging service. Rumors have been circulating about a potential IPO and about how valuable such a move could be for Sina. However, Sina CEO Charles Chao said on stage at the GMIC (Global Mobile Internet Conference) in Beijing today that an IPO was not the best route to take with Weibo.

Chao said the business model and corporate strategy around Weibo must be handled differently adding, “Weibo’s growth should be based on an incentive structure not an IPO”. He said that there are still many synergies between the new and old businesses and that they are not done learning from each other just yet.

Chao did not go into any detail about what the incentive structure would look like but added that Weibo is a unique way of interacting with the online ecosystem so it will need a unique business model to go along with it.

But monetizing the site isn’t at the top of the company’s agenda.  Its highest priority, Chao said, is to build its platform and user base.


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