Tencent Tech, 8/21/12
Tencent Tech has learned that as of August 21, Chinese online security software developer Qihoo 360 (NYSE: QIHU) has chosen its new search aggregator (http://so.360.cn) as the default search engine for its navigation portal (http://hao.360.cn), abandoning the company's long-standing partnership with Google.
Searches from Qihoo 360's navigation portal now redirect to the search aggregator interface, which offers news, web, video, MP3, image, map, and Q&A search.
A source familiar with Qihoo 360 revealed that CEO Zhou Hongyi has gotten channel partners from his days at Yahoo China's "3721" real name search service back together. Following the sale of 3721, many of these channel partners "converted" to work with Chinese internet company Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU).
Another source close to the matter revealed that Qihoo 360 has invested in a search engine company founded by "a well-known Chinese search technology researcher," but that the company has stayed low-key.
Editor's Note: As reported, a visit to the hao.360.cn navigation page displays Qihoo 360's search aggregator in a drop-down menu to the right of the search field as the default search engine. The drop-down menu also lists Baidu, Google, Netease's (Nasdaq: NTES) Youdao search engine, and the People's Daily search engine Jike.
Tencent Tech reports that Fu Sheng, CEO of Kingsoft Corporation's (3888.HK) anti-virus software subsidiary Kingsoft Network Technology, revealed on his Tencent Microblog that over the five days following the launch of Qihoo 360's search aggregator, the essentially unknown site quickly took a nearly 10% share of China's search market.
For more information on this topic, please see "Qihoo 360 Launches Online Search Aggregator," MD 8/16/12 issue.