Marbridge Daily

July 13, 2011

Sogou Sets Sights on Google China

Sina Tech, 7/12/11

Wang Xiaochuan, CEO of Chinese Internet firm Sohu's (Nasdaq: SOHU) online search subsidiary, Sogou, recently disclosed that Sogou aims to surpass Google in domestic market share within one year. Sogou expects revenues to exceed USD 20 mln in Q4 2011, and to become profitable by next year. Sogou is also strengthening its partnership with e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba Group to develop a browser designed for e-commerce.

Wang said that Sogou's search traffic has doubled over the past year and revenue has continued to grow. Sogou expects to expand its staff by approximately 30% from its current 600 to 800 by the end of this year. The new hires will supplement both the front-end business as well as back-end departments such as operations, administration, and marketing.

Sogou's core products currently include its search engine, browsers, and Chinese language Pinyin input software, with search as the primary revenue generator. Sogou Pinyin has an 83.6% penetration rate with more than 300 mln users. Wang revealed that Hangzhou-based C2C & B2C e-commerce site Taobao is the search engine's biggest customer, contributing nearly 10% of its revenues.

Wang declined to reveal a launch date for Sogou and Alibaba's e-commerce web browser, adding that the browser could be branded either the Sogou Taobao Browser or Sogou Browser: Taobao Edition.

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