Association of Alibaba and Qihoo 360 to counter Baidu

Alibaba, and Qihoo 360, two giant e-commerce Chinese companies have teamed up to launch their website “360.etao.com”. This website is a search engine of online shopping supposed to compete with the Chinese leader search engine Baidu. This strategic alliance is a major event in the history of digital China.

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Why are they launching 360.etao.com?

Alibaba currently dominates the burgeoning market of Chinese e-commerce through its two main portals: Taobao (C2C) and Tmall (B2C). With 1,84 billion dollars turnover at the Q4 of 2012, Alibaba is on the verge of becoming the first company in online sales in the world to go public and wield a trillion dollars in transactions.

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Baidu and Qihoo 360, the best rivals

The launch of 360.etao.com is Qihoo 360’s offensive which seeks to reduce the dominance of Baidu Chinese internet. In fact, Baidu currently holds a market share of 73% while Qihoo 360 has nearly 10% (the rest is small players). It is important to note that Qihoo 360 launched its search engine 9 months ago. However, confident he expects already doubled its market share this year.

To launch its website 360.etao.com, Qihoo 360 has sought allies among the most influential companies in the Chinese web. One of his current partners is Sina Weibo, the largest microblogging platform in China. Qihoo 360 has signed with Sina Weibo a strategic partnership in January about a browser online game.

Baidu did not waste any time to act against his opponent. He recently launched a security software designed to compete with Qihoo 360 products (before investing activity search engine in 2012, Qihoo was best known for its free antivirus software). Baidu therefore trying to increase its market share, and by buying for example, Sogou, Sohu owned by Baidu Inc. also holds the advantage in a lawsuit against Qihoo 360 accused of unfair trade practice strategies.

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