AutoNavi, the Chinese digital map and smartphone navigation service provider, has announced it is cooperating with Sina Weibo to integrate location and social networking services to attract more users in future.
The new partners say their cooperation will benefit millions of Chinese users because Sina Weibo has more than 400 million users while AutoNavi has about 100 million users.
Better location services will help Sina to cash in on its popular Weibo microblogging site that hasn’t found a money-making model despite its huge user base. The new map services are likely to debut in the first half of next year and will include mobile advertising and coupons based on location.
Under the agreement, AutoNavi and Sina will merge their user database, allow users to see their friends’ location and places with their friends’ comments. Both sides will also find off-line partners in advertising and group purchase deals.