Sogou Levels up Competition via Soso Takeover?

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Latest rumor has it that Sogou was in talks with Tencent about a potential buyout of the latter’s search engine effort, which echoes Mr. Wang Xiaochuang’s prior hints that the company would have a bold move on capital after Chinese New Year. The claim was previously interpreted as a signal for the long-awaited IPO for the third largest Chinese search engine which just lost its second place to Qihoo’s up-and-comer search initiative.

Sogou might take over Soso’s desktop search business and then launch an across-the-board consolidation with regards to teams, channels, traffics and strategies between the two entities.

The rumor came at a time when Qihoo’s new kept gobbling up Sogou’s market share, cornered Sogou to the second place in the market with about 7.95% share, according to Chinese market researcher CNZZ’s latest stats. Qihoo’s currently claimed more about 10.5% of the market share, only next to Baidu’s 72%. Since Tencent’s holds about 3.5% of the market, the acquisition could push Sogou back to the runner-up position.

In a response to this market speculation, Mr. Wang told local media Phoenix New Media ( that “Sogou doesn’t comment on rumors…we were said to partner with 360 on search before”.

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