Sina's Next Big Thing: Social E-Commerce

The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.

NEW YORK ( Trefis) -- Sina ( SINA), the Chinese Internet giant, recently announced that it is focusing on improving the monetization of its online properties, particularly Weibo.com, which now has more than 300 million registered users. Sina competes with the likes of Baidu ( BIDU), Tencent, Sohu and others in the very competitive Chinese online space. Sina.com is one of its biggest online properties, besides Weibo.com, which is one of the top Chinese microblogging platforms.

Social E-Commerce: The Next Big Opportunity for Sina

Sina may also be planning to launch a social e-commerce platform later this year, in order to generate additional revenue by facilitating e-commerce transactions and offering retailers and businesses a greater marketing reach through its social platforms like Weibo.

Tencent, Sina's direct competitor in the microblogging arena, has already announced that it would make a play for the social e-commerce space in 2012 by enabling brands to leverage its online offerings, like QQ IM and Weixin.

The social e-commerce space in China is expected to reach more than $3 billion in the next five years. If Sina is able to capture even a small percentage of that market, it could be a significant source of additional revenue. With this new social e-commerce play, Sina would also have another way to monetize the Weibo platform besides the plain display advertising.

We currently have a $65 Trefis price estimate for Sina , which stands nearly 10% below its market price.

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This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

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