Chinese microblogging service Weibo is amassing a war-chest for acquisitions, with a new issue of up to $700 million in convertible senior debt.
Weibo, backed by Chinese telecommunications firm Sina and the e-commerce giant Alibaba, is China’s answer to Twitter—although, with a market cap of $20.95 billion to Twitter’s $12.67 billion, it’s rather more valuable.
The Beijing-based firm said Tuesday that it intends to use its new funds “for general corporate purposes, including working capital needs and potential acquisitions of complementary businesses.”
According to a TechCrunch report, Weibo’s acquisitions are likely to be Chinese, with a probably focus on areas where it has enjoyed recent success, such as video and entertainment. The tech blog also noted that Weibo has recently been investing in advertising technology.
China’s Communist Party enthusiastically uses Weibo as a propaganda channel. In the last week, users were encouraged to spread a hashtag in support of China’s “New Era.” State media and popular celebrities took part in the push.
Last month, the platform encouraged people to join a “Weibo supervisor” program in which users act as censors of their compatriots’ politically sensitive outpourings. Like other Chinese web platforms, Weibo had been fined by the government’s “Cyberspace Administration” for failing to properly tackle this issue.
Those reporting the highest numbers of unacceptable Weibo posts get a free iPhone or tablet.