Latest rumor has it that Sogou was in talks with Tencent about a potential buyout of the latter’s search engine effort Soso.com, 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 So.com 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 So.com 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 So.com currently claimed more about 10.5% of the market share, only next to Baidu’s 72%. Since Tencent’s Soso.com holds about 3.5% of the market, the acquisition could push Sogou back to the runner-up position.

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Ben Jiang

Listener of startups, writer on tech. Maker of things, dreamer by choice.