Influential Weibo bloggers rake in 26.8 bln yuan in 2018

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Influential bloggers pocketed more than 26.8 billion yuan (3.89 billion U.S. dollars) this year on China's leading social media platform Sina Weibo, which empowers users to turn their popularity into cash with paid partnerships and subscriptions.

E-commerce is the top cash cow for influential Weibo bloggers, generating 25.4 billion yuan in 2018, up 36 percent year on year, Weibo CEO Wang Gaofei said at the company's annual V Influence Summit.

Six popular online stores on Weibo each grossed over 100 million yuan in revenue via Weibo during the annual Double 11 online shopping spree holiday in November, up from four stores last year.

Celebrity endorsement and paid subscriptions also brought 1.2 billion yuan and 240 million yuan, respectively, to influential bloggers.

The Twitter-like social media giant now has about 700,000 bloggers who have over 20,000 fans each or whose posts enjoy more than 100,000 monthly clicks on average. Among them, about 50,000 are known as "V-bloggers", who boast over 500,000 fans each or have over 10 million monthly clicks on average on their posts.

Mobile internet competition has shifted its focus from increasing the amount of users to increasing time spent online, and all major platforms are striving to retain their users with improved content and services, Wang said.

As such, Weibo has decided to invest 2 billion yuan over the next two years into supporting content-based e-commerce, online celebrities and multi-channel networks to nurture brands on its platform.

The NASDAQ-listed firm had about 446 million monthly active users by the end of September, with 93 percent of them being mobile users.

The company earned 460.2 million U.S. dollars in net revenue in the third quarter of this year, surging 44 percent year on year.

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