To kick off the week as we continue our look at at the speakers for Global Mobile Internet Conference 2012, we’re going to highlight Charles Chao, CEO of Sina. Sina is the company behind the widely popular Sina Weibo platform that brought a Twitter-like experience to China.
Twitter itself is blocked in China, so Chinese citizens cannot access the site through normal internet access. On average, more than 3000 human years are spent on Sina Weibo each day according to Sina’s internal usage metrics – that makes it a very impressive platform for marketers to target.
Sina Weibo is more robust than Twitter and is one the primary examples that people use to combat the concept China is a land of copycats. Sina took the Twitter concept, added a splash of Facebook, and added in some of its own innovations to create a platform, that even I, an American, have to admit is pretty enjoyable to use.
Charles has served as the President and CEO of Sina Corporation (NasdaqGS: SINA) since May, 2006. Mr. Chao joined Sina as Vice President of Finance in September 1999 and has served various managerial positions including Chief Financial Officer, Co-Chief Operating Officer before taking the reigns.
In his earlier years, Charles earned his B.A. in Journalism from Fudan University before leaving China to be educated in the United States. While in the States he earned masters in Accounting from University of Texas at Austin and Journalism from the University of Oklahoma. Charles began his working career as a news correspondent at Shanghai Media Group. After that he joined PwC where he served as an audit manager providing auditing and business consulting services to hi-tech companies in Silicon Valley.
Outside of Sina, he is currently the co-chairman of China Real Estate Information Corporation (NasdaqGS: CRIC), a company providing online and offline real estate information and consulting services, a Director for Focus Media (NasdaqGS: FMCN), an out-of-home media and advertising network company, and a Director for NetDragon Websoft Inc., a company providing technology for online gaming.
We are expecting Charles to speak on some new advances Sina has in store for its mobile applications. As mobile is becoming more and more the way users are accessing Sina Weibo, Sina has realized the need to become more innovative in how it lets its users interact with the site.
Tencent Weibo, Sina’s biggest rival, has recently made stronger moves using its Weixin application than Sina has done with its own communication app. This will have to reverse if Sina wants to fend off the industry giant. Outside of mobile app advancements, we also might hear of some other new innovations from Sina, but we’ll have to wait and see what Charles decides to discuss with the world.