Tencent Privatizes Sogou Search: What Next for Search Marketing in China?
In February 2023, Sogou—China’s joint second-largest search engine—finally ceased all its search services more than one year since it announced its merger with Chinese internet giant, Tencent.
Since becoming an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Tencent in September 2021, Sogou enacted a privatization transaction, first resulting in Sogou Map going offline before the rest of its services were absorbed into corresponding departments under Tencent’s Platform and Content Group (PCG)—all except for its search engine and input method products, its most popular offerings. However, those now fall under Tencent as well after Sogou recently completed privatizing.
What will happen to Sogou Search now that it falls under Tencent? If you have been marketing on Sogou, here’s what you should know!
What will Happen to Sogou Search?
Founded in 2004, Sogou evolved to become the second-largest search engine by mobile queries in China, with a wide range of innovative products and services like its input method, which is the largest Chinese language input software across both desktop and mobile.
If you have been promoting your brand on Sogou Search, its merger with Tencent means you’ll now have to register for a Tencent account to continue doing so.
With this merger, search marketing activity should increase on Tencent, enabling it to expand its search engine business. It also means Tencent-owned WeChat—with its closed-loop content ecosystem—and Sogou will act as sources of search traffic to each other.
What impact will the increasing number of Chinese social apps have on the search engine market in the coming years? Will Baidu remain the dominant player, or will it face competition?