Qihoo360 Emerges as Baidu Rival
September 29, 2012
It looks like Baidu may soon lose its crown as the uncontested Chinese search engine leader. Lately, its nemesis Qihoo360 has been gaining ground with their new engine. TechNewsWorld hosts a podcast that examines the rivalry, “Combatants Getting Down and Dirty in Chinese Search Wars.” In it, ECT News reporter David Vranicar interviews Tech In Asia editor Charlie Custer. You can listen to the twenty minute recording or read the transcript at the above link.
The pair begin by recounting the Chinese search engine market, then discuss the success of Qihoo360’s search since it launched a month ago. The new tool immediately captured 10 percent of the market, while Baidu’s business dropped by about 10 percent. Custer emphasizes that the coup is most likely due to the inclusion of search functionality in Qihoo360’s browser, much like the default search in Chrome’s address bar sends us to Google.
Some users have noted a remarkable similarity to Baidu’s results, but Custer doesn’t think it is because Qihoo360 has stolen Baidu’s algorithm; it is simply that quality searches will return similar results. However, he believes he knows why people wondered. He states:
“But the reason that people are suspicious about it is that Qihoo has a reputation as just scummy. . . . And part of that is their CEO. He has a big mouth, he likes to get in fights with people in social media and the press, just talking s*** about other companies and other products.
“And Qihoo is also always getting caught doing sketchy things. A lot of people think their antivirus software is basically a virus, and that’s because [the antivirus software] blocked QQ, this big instant messenger that everybody uses but it is offered by a competing company.”
Analogies to Google’s EU problems, anyone? I suppose favoring one’s own properties is different from outright blocking a competitor, but only by so much. Will Qihoo360 continue to gain ground? We shall see.
Cynthia Murrell, September 29, 2012