China's Sina Corp. to Monetize Popular Micro-Blogging Site Weibo

New virtual currency could allow users of "China's Twitter" to exchange payments and give gifts.

Sina Corp., China's largest Internet portal, is looking to monetize its highly popular microblogging service, Weibo, sometimes called China's Twitter, after profit fell 60 poercent in the second quarter.

The earnings were slightly above Wall Street expectations and Sina's shares were up nearly 7 percent in after-hours trading at $99.

Sina, which rolled out its Weibi virtual currency this month, is trying to generate revenue from Weibo and turn it into a full-fledged social networking site, pitting it against the likes of Kaixin001 and Renren Inc.

Sina said on Wednesday it earned a second-quarter net income of $10 million, or 15 cents per share, compared with $25.2 million or 38 cents per share for the same period a year ago.

Excluding one-off items, it earned 20 cents a share, beating the average forecast of earnings of 19 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue excluding Sina's separate real estate advertising business rose 21 percent to $114.3 million, within the range of its forecast of $112 million to $115 million.

For the third quarter, Sina expects adjusted revenue between $123 million and $126 million, versus analysts' expectations of $125.7 million.

Advertising revenue jumped 26 percent year-over-year to $91.8 million in the second quarter, while mobile-related revenue declined 2 percent to $19.5 million.