China's Sina fined for indecent content in web porn crackdown

Sat May 3, 2014 3:27am IST

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May 2 (Reuters) - Chinese Internet firm Sina Corp said it was fined 5.1 million yuan ($815,038) by Beijing authorities for allowing "unhealthy and indecent content" on its online reading channel and on its main website.

Sina was stripped of some online publication licences last week after being targeted in a pornography crackdown, the harshest punishment yet for a Chinese Internet company in an intensifying online crackdown.

The fine was imposed by the Beijing Municipal Cultural Market Administrative Law Enforcement Unit, Sina said in a statement on Friday.

Sina said it was currently evaluating the impact of the administrative penalties and the options available to the company. Sina did not mention if or when its licences would be reinstated.

The company on Friday also reported better-than-expected preliminary results for the first quarter ended March 31.

Sina estimated a net loss of about $33 million, or 52 cents per share, including a $40.2 million loss related to the market debut last week of Weibo Corp.

Sina controls Weibo, which owns Sina Weibo - China's version of Twitter.

Excluding the charge, the company estimated a profit of 15 cents per share, 2 cents above analysts' average estimate, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sina's shares were down 2.6 percent at $46.99 in extended trading after closing at $48.15 Friday on the Nasdaq. ($1 = 6.2593 Chinese Yuan) (Reporting By Lehar Maan in Bangalore; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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