China's search engine operator Qihoo 360 Technology Co confirmed cooperation with Google China, US technology news portal ZDNet reported Friday, a move the report said may threaten China's current leading search engine Baidu.
Qihoo did not confirm the report when contacted by the Global Times Saturday, but revealed that the company is commercializing its search engine with the help of a third party that it would not name.
According to the ZDNet report, Qihoo's tie-up with Google is likely to begin early in 2013, and Qihoo CEO Zhou Hongyi has said that he was open to cooperate with other counterparts such as Microsoft and Sogou.
Dong Xu, an analyst from Beijing-based Internet consulting firm Analysys International, told the Global Times Saturday that Qihoo's partner in this commercialization is very likely to be Google, given that a previous deal allowed Qihoo to use Google's search service, and Google is experienced in selling ad space.
Some advertising links can already be seen on the right-hand side of Qihoo's search page, but the company prices the spots at fixed amounts, not by auction like Baidu does, a Qihoo PR staff member told the Global Times Saturday on condition of anonymity.
Ad sales will surely increase Qihoo's revenues, but the company will likely earn less money than it would using Baidu's method, said Dong.
She also noted that the cooperation between Qihoo and Google won't easily threaten Baidu's leading position in China's search engine market.
Qihoo's search engine market share was 7 or 8 percent in November, while Baidu maintained its leading position of over 50 percent throughout 2012, according to data from Analysys International.
Mainland, Taiwan airlines sign co-op contract
Great changes in Zhengzhou railway station
Wanda Group ventures onto the global stage
Sports car makers look to mainland market
Top Ten Economic Events in 2012
'Gold road' laid with gold bars