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Sina Finds Success in Alibaba Friendship

Sina, once a star of the Chinese Internet, has lost its shine. But it remains one of the sector’s best value plays.

Sina’s market capitalization, at around $3.5 billion after accounting for the recent share issuance to its chief executive, is tiny relative to giants Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent. But it still occupies an important position in China’s online landscape, as majority owner of the Twitter TWTR -3.16 % -like microblog Weibo, and operator of the portal.

Investors have long been worried that Weibo is losing out to Tencent’s WeChat, TCEHY -2.10 % but in recent months it seems to have been revitalized. In the three months to September, Weibo’s monthly active users rose by 33% from a year earlier to 222 million.

Weibo is also making more money...