Chinese search engine Sogou has partnered up with Microsoft’s Bing to launch two new vertical search channels—Sogou English and Sogou Academic, in a bid to tap China’s increasing demand for global information.
The partnership is an extension of an existing prelationship between Microsoft and Sogou. While Google is blocked in China, Bing-powered search engines, including Yahoo, are not. According to Sogou the new engine uses a mix of Sogou and Bing services.
The English search engine provides an automatic translation function, allowing users to search for English results by inputting Chinese keywords.
Sogou trails Baidu in the China, with just 8 percent of the total market, though both companies have been looking to diversify their offerings away from the core search business.
“We have been committed to the content differentiation strategy,” a Sogou spokesperson told Technode.
“Since 2013 we started to cooperate with Tencent and lunched WeChat Subscription Content Search. Last year we launched Zhihu Search, cooperating with China’s largest Q&A community, Zhihu.”
Although Sogou is aiming at global content, it will focus primarily on innovations targeted at Chinese market, said the sogou representative. “We have a global plan, but it will start from Sogou Keyboard (an input method that the company started with and takes more than 60% share in mobile market).”
This is not Bing’s first foray into English search services. The engine interestingly launched a similar cooperation plan with Baidu for English language search results in 2011.