TechRice has an informative update on Sina (Nasdaq: SINA), Tencent and Sohu (Nasdaq: SOHU) and the race to capture the social networking sector in China’s massive internet user base:
Sina Weibo launched two new domain names (URL) weibo.com and weibo.cn (Open API Platform & WAP address), which should help Sina dominate the microblog market and venture further into social networking.
How? Weibo means microblog in Chinese (微博), so Sina is now literally in control of www.microblog.com for China. Sina’s major competitors, Tencent Weibo and Sohu Weibo, also refer to their services as “weibo,” so the new URL is a coup for Sina.
Charles Chao (CEO of Sina) and his 1000-employee strong Sina Weibo team is becoming a much more serious threat to Chinese SNS sites such as RenRen and Kaixin001 than Twitter ever was for Facebook.
Xinhua’s Li Huizi adds:
Microglogger Xuechenzi said, “It’s no exaggeration to say that weibo.com will enter the main page of China’s media history, as it ‘monopolizes’ the Chinese word, with Sohu, Tencent and other Internet portals having to choose other words to name their microblogging services.”
He said Sina’s brand value is expected to soar immediately as Sina Weibo quickly captures more Internet traffic, putting pressure on its rivals.
The launch of weibo.com was advertised in an unprecedented way Thursday with depictions of online embedded ads printed on the frontpages of major metropolitan newspapers across the country. People have even collected Thursday’s Beijing Times to commemorate the launch of Weibo.
If you’re interested in investing in China stocks, be sure to check out the Covestor model Greater China from James Hofmann. Hofmann’s portfolio is long Sohu as of end of day 4/7/11.
“Sina Weibo Controls the “Holy Shit Idea of a Generation”, Launches New URL Weibo.com”
“Sina’s launch of “weibo.com” seen as clever branding move”
Li Huizi, Xinhuanet 4/7/11