Twitter CEO in China 'to learn more' (Update)

Mar 17, 2014
File picture shows Twitter CEO Dick Costolo during his Brand Matters keynote address at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 8, 2014

Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo is visiting China, the biggest market where the popular messaging service is banned, the company said Monday.

The US firm said Costolo "is visiting China because he wants to learn more about the Chinese culture and the country's thriving technology sector.

"We have no plans to change anything about our service in order to enter the market."

The company offered no further details on Costolo's plans or timetable. But a tweet earlier Monday from Costolo was posted from Tokyo, with no mention of China.

Twitter's microblogging platform is banned in China, but a study by the research firm GlobalWebIndex last year said as many as 35 million people find ways around the "Great Firewall" and use it.

The visit comes after Friday's announcement that Weibo, sometimes referred to as the Chinese Twitter, was filing in New York for a share offering to raise $500 million.

The move will allow the popular Chinese-language social network to spin off from the Internet giant Sina, according to documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The filing said Weibo had 129.1 million monthly active users in December and 61.4 million average daily active users.

Weibo was launched in August 2009 with a business model reminiscent of that of Twitter.

Weibo reported revenues for 2013 of $188 million, triple the level of 2012, but has continually lost money, like its US counterpart, with accumulated losses of $274.9 million as of December 31.

Despite Weibo's vast popularity in China, its ascent has hit a few speed bumps recently due to a social media crackdown by Beijing and the rise of rival Tencent's mobile app, WeChat.

Twitter's high-flying Wall Street debut in November drew attention to the growing power of social media, but it also raised concerns about a potential bubble in the sector.

The company's shares soared after debuting at $26 in the initial public offering but dropped the following day to slightly more than $40. Shares rose slightly Monday to end at $52.05, off the highs from earlier this year.

Twitter has fast become ingrained in popular culture but must still convince investors of its business model. The first earnings report since Twitter's vaunted public offering disappointed many observers.

Explore further: Sina Weibo, 'China's Twitter,' files for IPO in US (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sina plans New York IPO for Weibo microblog

Feb 25, 2014

(AP)—Chinese internet company Sina Corp. plans to spin off its Twitter-like microblog service, Weibo, in a U.S. initial public offering to raise $500 million, a person with knowledge of the deal said Tuesday.

Twitter to list on NYSE (Update)

Oct 15, 2013

Twitter shares will trade on the New York Stock Exchange, documents showed Tuesday, shunning the tech-heavy Nasdaq which saw major problems in Facebook's market debut in 2012.

China's Tencent launches English microblog site

Oct 11, 2011

Chinese Internet giant Tencent has launched an English version of its Twitter-like microblogging service in a push to tap the overseas market, the official Xinhua news agency reported Tuesday.

Crackdown hits popular China messaging platform WeChat

Mar 14, 2014

Chinese Internet giant Tencent has shut several accounts on its popular instant messaging platform WeChat, users said Friday, in what appeared to be part of a broader government crackdown on political content.

China loses 27.8 million microblog users in 2013 (Update)

Jan 17, 2014

The number of online microblog users in China dropped by more than 27.8 million last year, marking the first major decline in popularity of a social media genre that has offered a way to share unfiltered information in a ...

Recommended for you

Nokia profits rise after sale of handset division

20 hours ago

(AP)—Telecommunications and wireless equipment maker Nokia Corp. saw its shares surge on Thursday after it reported higher profits and an improved earnings outlook in the wake of its sale to Microsoft of its troubled handset ...

Swiss drug maker Roche posts 7 percent profit drop

23 hours ago

(AP)—Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG on Thursday posted a net profit drop of 7 percent compared with a year ago, weighed down by a strong Swiss franc and charges from one of its diagnostic units.

Cheaper wireless plans cut into AT&T 2Q profit

Jul 23, 2014

(AP)—AT&T Inc. on Wednesday posted lower net income for the latest quarter due to cheaper cellphone plans it introduced as a response to aggressive pricing from smaller competitor T-Mobile US.

User comments : 0