Sogou, the search and Internet service provider of Sohu, announced today a new mobile search app and redesigned brand logo. Similar to Baidu’s mobile app, Sogou search app doesn’t only include a search bar but also other channels, mobile app, online novel, news, weather, directory service, among others. It supports voice search too.
What’s a big deal is the search service will be integrated into Tencent’s various services, including QQ IM, social network Q-zone, online news service QQ.com, QQ mobile browser, and QQ directory website. The app debuts on MyApp, the Android app store run by Tencent.
The Chinese Internet giant acquired 36.5% a stake in Sogou last year and merged its own search service Soso into the latter, saying its stake would increase to 40%.
Tencent always wanted to build a search service leveraging its huge user base and users’ social interactions. But its in-house developed service wasn’t successful at all. Now it must count on Sogou in order to get a share in China’s mobile search market.
Mobile search market is one of the categories every big Chinese Internet company is eyeing on on mobile. Alibaba Group has taken a controlling stake in UCWeb, a leading mobile browser and service provider in China, and jointly established a mobile search brand with the latter recently. As the default search service, which used to be Baidu, on UCWeb mobile browser, which has hundreds of millions of users, was replaced by the UCWeb-Alibaba Shenma search, UCWeb claimed it had had 20% penetration in mobile search market one week after the launch.
Now Baidu is the target of everyone that wants a piece of mobile search market in China.