China's Twitter Weibo launches virtual currency Weibi

China’s SINA Corporation (SINA), the company behind China’s Twitter, the weibo, launched its virtual currency, the weibi, last week. SINA hopes that the new virtual currency will help it make big money from Weibo’s 200 million users.

Sina, primarily known for its portal business, introduced the microblogging weibo, on its online services portfolio in 2009. The move was aimed at catching up with rival Tencent.

One weibi is equivalent to one yuan. The virtual currency can be used to purchase virtual goods for gaming and value-added services on the Sina Weibo site.

Weibi, SINA’s new currency could be seen as its way of integrating its other online properties with Weibo; wherein, Weibo will act as a proliferator of paid content and applications from SINA’s other properties and advertisers, in real time with precision target advertising; and the payment medium will only be the new virtual currency.

To get a fair idea of how SINA plans to implement the new currency, Weibo’s official gaming platform said last week that developers of casual games operating on Weibo will keep all their revenue in the first year; with SINA taking 30% of their income from the second year.
Currently there are no content or applications fees on Weibo.

Talking of the real Twitter, I think the the problems of Twitter regarding money; emanate from the simple fact that the people behind it don't have other web properties. If they would have a couple of other online properties like Weibo, then it would not have struggled in earning money. --------

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