Search Engine news has been dominated over the past month with rumours of Sohu selling its subsidiary search engine Sogou.

Baidu, Qihoo 360 and Tencent, three of China’s biggest online players, are reportedly locked in a battle to take over the search engine. Regardless of whichever party wins, the search engine landscape in the region will undoubtedly change significantly.

  • If Baidu acquires Sogou, their combined search market share would become 71.5% (63.02% + 8.48%), allowing the search giant to take back some lost ground in the fight against Qihoo 360.
  • If Qihoo 360 acquires Sogou, their combined search share would rise to 23.66% (15.18% + 8.48%), immediately achieving Qihoo CEO’s target of reaching 20% market share this year.

The move would also further secure the company as the undisputed No.2 search engine in China. This could be the biggest shake up industry has seen since Google left China.

As the two companies join forces, further synergies between their two businesses could also emerge to challenge the current order, especially in the areas of search complementary software.

Qihoo’s share of the web browser market would go up from 26.88% to 34.98%, which has historically been a key driver of its search usage, in addition to owning the No. 1 most popular input method with integrated search.

  • If Tencent (Soso) acquires Sogou, their combined search share would become 12.47% (3.99% + 8.48%). This option could be bad for Qihoo with SoSo potentially beginning to challenge Qihoo 360 for the No.2 position.

So far none of the companies have either denied or confirmed rumours. It remains to be seen whether the rumours are true, and if so which of the 3 companies will prove to be the winning suitor for Sogou.