RealTime IT News

Surging SINA Faces Management Shakeup

Daniel Mao has stepped down as CEO of Chinese Internet media company SINA.com and will be replaced Wang Yan, the president of the portal, the company said Monday.

A press release did not give any reason for Mao's departure, but said he will remain on the SINA board of directors. Yan has been the president of the company since 2001.

SINA's stock price ranged from $1.48 to a new high of over $12.50 within a year.

In 1999, Daniel Mao joined SINA as Chief Operating Officer. In the following two years, Mao was a key member of the management team that helped raise two rounds of private investment before its IPO in 2000.

In 2001, Mao was appointed as the CEO of the company.

"We're grateful for Daniel Mao's past contribution to the company in the last four years and wish him the best in his future endeavors," said Daniel Chiang, chairman of the board of SINA, in a statement.

On April 24, SINA reported record revenues of $18.1 Million, with US GAAP net income of $3.4 Million. The company that calls itself a leading online media company and value-added information service provider for China and for global Chinese communities.

SINA is moving to diversify its revenue streams between advertising and its non-advertising businesses. In its most recent financial results, SINA said advertising revenues totaled $7.3 million for the quarter, representing a 46 percent increase over $5 million reported in the same period in 2002.

SINA said non-advertising revenues totaled $10.8 million for the quarter, a 97 percent increase over $5.5 million reported in the previous quarter and a 412 percent increase over $2.1 million reported in the same period in 2002.

SINA said the increase in non-advertising revenues was primarily driven by the growth in mobile short messaging services ("SMS"). SMS revenues for the quarter grew 165 percent from the previous quarter to $9.2 million. In January 2003, SINA acquired MemeStar, a mobile content provider.

A major concern for those watching Chinese Internet companies is what impact the SARS virus is having on the Internet economy in Asia.

In its most recent quarterly report, the company said most of its revenues are derived in China, and that most of its employees are located in Beijing and Guangzhou, two afflicted regions.

The SARS outbreak "could result in quarantines or closures of some of the Company's offices which would severely disrupt the Company's operations," SINA said.

"In addition, the SARS outbreak could result in a reduction in advertising and fee-based revenues. Due to the uncertainty surrounding the SARS outbreak, it may be necessary for the Company to update its Business Outlook in the coming months," SINA said.