Chinese mobile security leader Qihoo 360 Technology has re-branded its search engine to Haosou.com. Site with the new name and design has gone live. Qihoo’s old search engine domain so.com redirects users to Haosou. Inside sources told China Internet Watch that Qihoo changed the brand name and logo to help users easily remember the name, though so.com looks much shorter and earlier to remember.
A ‘good search engine’
In Chinese, “Hao” means good and “Sou” means search. By its own explanation, Haosou is a “good search engine,” which doesn’t do bad things like scams that Baidu suffered from last year. Qihoo co-founder Qi Xiangdong said that Haosou can provide the company more opportunity in search business. It is aimed at mobile users. Currently, Haosou is a sub-brand of Qihoo but it could become an independent search brand in the near future.
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Qihoo still has to go a long way to gain some market share in mobile search business. According to China Mobile data, Baidu has captured 79.69% of Chinese mobile search market, followed by Alibaba-backed SM.cn. Qihoo’s Internet security products have over 640 million users. Moreover, it has launched its own ad network in an attempt to boost monetization.
Qihoo to make smartphones in collaboration with Coolpad
Last month, Qihoo 360 invested $409 million to form a joint-venture with smartphone maker Coolpad. The JV will design manufacture and market mobile devices. Qihoo, which owns 45% stake in JV, said the devices will be sold via Internet in China. Coolpad has expertise in design, production, supply chain management and post-sales service. It has an impressive history of releasing interesting smartphones such as Platinum Dayton.
The joint-venture will use Qihoo’s expertise in mobile app development and online marketing. Qihoo will be the default provider of mobile services such as the app store, mobile search and mobile security for the complete portfolio of Coolpad’s smartphones. The new firm will make devices under Coolpad’s Dazen brand.
Qihoo shares plunged 2.57% to $58.01 at 12:28 AM EST on Friday.