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The best part is, this market is far from maturing. Shanghai-based iResearch estimates wireless value-added services to follow this year's 65% growth with growth rates of 41% and 35% in 2005 and 2006. These growth rates more than offset declines in short message service (SMS) revenue. Even with the temporary suspension of SINA's interactive voice response (IVR) service, revenues from new mobile value-added services grew from $5.1 million to $7 million as SMS revenue decreased by $1.7 million. (China Mobile resumed the IVR service on Oct. 15.)
Mobile services may be SINA's sweet spot, but the company is looking beyond that. In the quarter, SINA launched the online gaming portal iGame, which has 3.6 million users to date despite debuting in July. To get an idea of the staggering demographics involved, note that this figure is greater than the number of XM Satellite Radio
SINA also managed to land prime property from Korean company NCSoft. Lineage 2 is the hottest massively multiplayer online game in the world right now, and Chinese gamers have latched onto the beta to the tune of 2 million subscribers and more than 100,000 concurrent users. The official launch scheduled for Nov. 11 should provide a new steady stream of revenue.
So why pick SINA over more focused companies such as online game operator extraordinaire Shanda
David Gardner recommended SINA for Motley Fool Stock Advisor subscribers. Subscribe today with a six-month money-back guarantee to learn more.
Fool contributor Tim Goh does not own any stake in the companies mentioned.