Even if China is not your target market for your search engine marketing, you probably have at least heard of Baidu as the number one search engine in China. But do you know there’s another locally grown search engine in China? It’s Haosou. While Baidu continues to keep their dominate position, it is also a fact that Haosou is rapidly growing its user base and taking market share from Baidu.
Haosou, owned by Qihoo 360, is not a new comer. Qihoo launched its search engine, 360 (so.cn) in 2012. It immediately became the second popular search engine in China. By the end of 2014, it had more than 35% of the search market share in China.
Haosou search offers search options including, News, Web, Q&A, Video, Images, Music, Map, Doctors, Wiki, and more.
In order to understand their success, we need to look at a parent company, Qihoo 360. Qihoo 360 Technology which started as an anti-virus company, and still is the biggest of its kind in China. They offer variety of services including:
- Antivirus Software
- Web Browser
- Mobile Application Store
- Search Engine
Just as being the default search engine for Yahoo Japan’s broadband service helped Yahoo Japan become popular in Japan, being the default search engine on a browser, which is used by Qihoo’s browser users, 360 or now Haosou has had an advantage. This tactic also seems to be working for Yahoo since Yahoo became a default search engine for FireFox last year taking market share from Google.
While Yahoo has discontinued its directory services, it still is an essential service in Asia, especially in China and Taiwan as people like browsing the web by following the links. This is another reason why portal sites like Baidu and Yahoo Japan are popular.
The fact is that Haosou still has a lot to catch up with Baidu. However, the user demographic has become very similar now, it offers additional opportunity to connect with potential customers to businesses. I am sure that Qihoo 360 will strengthen the search services by connecting the dots with their other services such as mobile apps.
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