China’s Weibo, started in 2009 as a Twitter clone, is suddenly worth more than Twitter itself. Weibo’s market cap now stands at $11.35 billion, while Twitter is at $11.34 billion.
It’s a remarkably quick rise for the Chinese social network, which IPO’d in early 2014 at a valuation of $3.4 billion. On that same day, Twitter was pegged at $26.8 billion.
Twitter is in freefall as it fails to add new users. The service lost 5 million monthly active users in the past 12 months, with the current tally at 313 million. Weibo, in contrast, is still growing – now at 282 million. Weibo pulled in 70 million new active users in the past year.
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Rumours of Twitter seeking – and failing – to find a buyer in the past few weeks have pummeled its stock even harder.
At its peak in early 2014, Twitter was briefly worth just over $40 billion.
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Weibo, in which ecommerce powerhouse Alibaba has a 30 per cent stake, is not without its troubles. WeChat, the hugely popular messaging app with just over 800 million users, has beaten Weibo in areas like online stores, cashless payments, and brand accounts. But Weibo still retains its viral power – and its ability to pull in money from ads. Indeed, Weibo’s ad revenue is up 45 per cent from the year prior.
Weibo has been quick to tap into China’s hottest new web trend – live streaming. That’s also a new source of revenue as it allows viewers to buy virtual gifts for streamers.
This article originally appeared on Tech in Asia