How popular is Sina Weibo in China? The Chinese Twitter-like service saw a penetration of more than 88.8% among China’s digital populace aged more than 20, according to a report by DCCI, a Beijing-based Internet think tank. The whopping penetration means that almost every Chinese netizen has a weibo account.

As of this June, according to statistics by CNNIC, China Internet Information Center, China has more than 538 million Internet users and 388 million mobile Internet users.

As Sina’s core advertising business is confronting with a gloomy picture due to swooned economic, Sina Weibo is what the Beijing-based portal site counts on to turn around, which explained why Sina Weibo launched a flurry of new products/services to monetize the offerings, like membership account that costs RMB 10 yuan per month. Weibo users  who subscribed to membership will enjoy privileges like can follow more than 2000 people (normally a Weibo user can follow up to 2000 accounts), audio post, and so on. In the past, Weibo released Wei games, Weihao and so forth to capitalize on its tremendous user base and traffic, though all these efforts failed to generate substantial revenue for the service.

Sina Weibo is said to be launching a social ads platform in the second half of this year to tap into its revenue potential. Sina invested more than 120 million and is planning to invest another 160 million into the service, now it’s time for these investments to pay off.