Had the "Twitter (TWTR) of China" gone public maybe three years ago, the offering could have been a huge hit. Back then, Weibo was the hottest messaging service in China. I remember traveling around the mainland back then and you couldn't get into an elevator without hearing the sound that someone around you had just posted a Weibo on their mobile phones.
The service gave the Chinese people their first real taste of mass communication with others, all allowed by the government.
However, two things happened. Government censors cracked down on some Weibo users including ones known as the "Big Vs" because they are "verified" and have millions of followers in some cases. Also, Tencent's WeChat came along over the last two years and became the preferred way of communicating ideas. An added bonus of WeChat is that your thoughts are only communicated with the friends you choose rather than the open public. Therefore, censorship is not an issue.
Am I missing something? At the time of publication, the author was long Yahoo! but held no positions in any of the other stocks mentioned. This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.
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