SINA presentation from Goldman Internet conference

by: Ezra Marbach (ticker: SINA) CFO and Co-COO Charles Chao and Co-COO Hurst Lin presented at the Goldman Sachs Internet Conference in Las Vegas last week. Here are key points from the presentation:

General Company Description

  • Online media.
  • Online advertising.
  • WVAS.
  • Internet search.
  • E-commerce, online games, and casual games.

Detailed Company Description

  • - portal business - consumers.
  • Sina Mobile.
  • - search business - mom and pop businesses.
  • Sina Online - developing casual games, entertainment.
  • Investments - MMORPG (online games) with NC Soft, and 1Pai (online auction) with Yahoo! (ticker: YHOO).
  • User demographic - higher income relative to competitors.
  • #1 traffic site in China.

March 2005 - China Statistics

  • 349 million mobile subs.
  • 99 million Internet users.
  • Internet penetration less than 10% of population.
  • Strong broadband growth - new housing complexes.

Portal Channels

  • Real estate, finance, job search.
  • Co-branded channel sponsorship with China HR - job leads.

Types of Mobile Value-Added Services

  • Content subscriptions.
  • Entertainment downloads (ring tones, pictures).
  • Dating and community services.

Internet Search

  • Working on search product for a year.
  • Unique features - "i ask" - knowledge base - can ask full questions.
  • Answers provided by users - answers cataloged.
  • Have 120 people working on search.
  • Focusing on Chinese language and not on other languages or international markets.
  • Outsourced search until recently.
  • Challenge: Convincing users to utilize Sina search engine as opposed to leaving and using Google, Baidu, Yahoo etc.


  • Sina-NCSoft JV - 3-D game - Lineage 2 - 93,000 daily average concurrent users in March.
  • Casual game portal - 580,000 active users - 27 games offered - will continue to add games - building casual game community - different demographic than online games.

Online Auction Business

  • 1Pai (with Yahoo!)
  • Strongest in Northern China.
  • Focusing on specific regions - because shipping continues to be an issue in certain areas.
  • Don't disclose metrics.
  • Competition fierce.
  • No plans to charge fees - Taobao doesn't either.

Brand Advertising Trends

  • Autos, real estate, mobile phone handsets - sectors not growing as quickly as before.
  • They were major drivers of ad growth over last 18 months - ad growth
    slowed of late.
  • Q2 auto ads increasing because of major auto show
    in China.
  • Sina sees auto ads coming back.
  • Sina doesn't see major recovery in
    real estate and other segments this year.

New Advertising Growth Segments

  • More ad revenue from Coke and
  • Expect more ad revenue from credit card, finance and insurance companies.

Misc Notes

  • Required to follow Sarbanes Oxley.
  • New partnership with ChinaHR.
  • ChinaHR pays SINA a fee on annual basis.
  • Large cash balance but in no hurry to make acquisitions.
  • China Mobile purging inactive WAP accounts. Sina has little relative WAP revenue - only about 5% of wireless revenue.
  • Has Shanda equity acquisition change operating plans? No.
  • Will Shanda get a board seat? No plan as of now.

Comment: You can access an audio link to the presentation here.