Chinese web portal Sina (Nasdaq: SINA) fully acquired lottery service Aicai.com and rebranded the site as Sina Aicai recently. The founding team of Aicai will remain with the company after the transaction.
Aicai is a lottery ticket sales and information platform established in 2007 with Sina as a majority shareholder. The startup is also responsible for building and managing Sina’s own lottery ticket sales and information platform. The company launched a mobile website in May 2009, which partnered with Sina’s mobile portal in August of the same year.
Chinese online lottery service grows rapidly in recently years. According to a senior executive of 500.com, a newly U.S.-listed Chinese lottery firm, Chinese online lottery sales are expected to jump by at least 70% this year, from 42 billion yuan ($6.7 billion) in 2013.
Driven by the huge market potential, most of Chinese leading Internet companies started to tap this market. In addition to a special channel QQ Lottery and partnership with lottery sites like 8788.cn and 500.com, Tencent teamed up with Chinese paper maker Xiamen Anne to develop an open platform for paperless lottery. NetEase runs a lottery channel. State-backed People.com acquired Okooo.com last year to run its lottery and public service channels. E-commerce giants, like Alibaba, JD, also provide lottery sales services both on their websites and mobile terminals.
As the World Cup hitting full swing, Chinese lottery firms are prepared to cash in on the quadrennial event by launching different degrees of publicity campaigns focused on the tournaments.
image credit: Sina Aicai