A source from investment industry told Sina Tech that Sohu looked to sell Sogou. Baidu, Qihoo and Tencent showed interest with Qihoo being the most eager and Baidu offering more favorable a price. Qihoo offers cash and stock and values it at US$1.4 billion (Update: it is reported that Qihoo offered $400 mn cash and $1 bn worth of stock (in Chinese)) while Baidu is able to offer more cash.  (in Chinese)

Some think the rumor is way far from possible considering the US$1.4 billion price. The reasoning is that Sogou was valued at only US$237 million when it bought back the stake Alibaba was holding in mid-2012.

So another possibility is Sogou intends to raise a series of funding before the long-planned IPO. It was reported that Sohu board hoped to see Sogou go public at a valuation of US$2 billion — close to US$1.4 billion.

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com