Qihoo360 Search Engine: an alternative to Baidu?

Are you a foreign company that wants to enter the Chinese market? It is important that you understand which are the main search engines in China. Chinese consumer research products, collect information, and looks for other consumers’ recommendations on the Internet.

The Chinese digital scenario is complex and often the evolution of dynamics, as always in China, is rapid. As in the case of Qihoo 360.

Chinese Search Engines in 2020

Baidu is and will undoubtedly remain for a long time the market leader of Chinese search engines with today over 70% share but the second in the ranking, Qihoo 360 in fact, certainly deserves attention, both for results and for the applied strategy. In China, everything is fast and Qihoo 360 has been able to quickly gain the trust of many Chinese users.

Qihoo 360 a growing search engine in China

Until August 2012, Qihoo 360 was known only for its antivirus software offerings, a very hot sector in China.

The company Qihoo launched its very own search engine with the domain so.com. ‘S’ represents safe, and ‘o’ represent open. It immediately became the second most popular search engine in China, and progressively grew its user base and taking market share from Baidu. It changed the name to ‘Haosou’ in 2015, meaning ‘easy to search’ and reversed to the name of ‘360 Search’ in the following year

Today it is Baidu’s main competitor, overtaking Sogou in just two years, reaching 10% of the share. Recall that Google has only 4% and only accessible from Hong Kong.

Why is Qihoo 360 gaining in popularity with Chinese netizens?


The first is the focus on security, promoting itself as “the safest search engine” using its reputation as a leader in anti-virus software. And safety is a highly valued value.

2. Collaboration with Alibaba

To generate traffic, then, one of the activities with the most returns was that related to e-commerce, with the launch of a joint site with the giant Alibaba.

The common site is a search engine for online shopping, a very appreciated activity beyond the wall, supporting users in comparing prices. The success of the site has led Qihoo to earn significant income from its web traffic by redirecting its users to the e-commerce sites of its partner Alibaba: Taobao and Tmall.

3. Gaming Segment Developpement

Another important activity of Qihoo to erode market share was to decisively enter the online gaming sector, a very popular activity among Chinese users, with a strategic agreement with the popular social network Sina Weibo.

Strategic agreements with Alibaba and Sina Weibo, a focus on security, e-commerce, and online games: that’s how it developed traffic and become the second most used search engine in China in just two years.

360 Search has over 50% penetration rate in the PC search engine in China according to CNNIC.com.

Most of the China companies choose 360 PC Antivirus software for their company’s internet security. Once the antivirus software is installed, the 360 Browsers will also be installed. The default search engine of 360 browsers is 360 Search.

The Benefit of launching Paid Ads Campaigns on 360 Search

  • Simple Account opening process – for normal industries, you can create the account within 3-5 working days. It only takes 2 weeks from zero to ads online.
  • It has a cheaper CPC (cost per click) compared with Baidu. CPC is the unit cost incurred by the advertiser for each click generated by a paid advertisement. It is obtained by dividing the cost of the advertising action by the number of clicks generated by the campaign.
  • Better ROI (return on investment) – The advertising cost is reasonable.
  • Free Big Data report – Market Share of your brand and competitors, Demographic Data, Search Volume Index

Do you want to know more about Chinese search engines and Chinese digital marketing? Contact us


Gentlemen Marketing Agency is a digital marketing agency that is expert in helping foreign companies to establish or strengthen their position in China. We can help your brand increase sales in China, thanks to our services like:

  • Advertising
  • Baidu SEO&SEM
  • Social Media
  • PR
  • KOL & Influencers
  • E-commerce and cross-border e-commerce
  • Distribution

Contact-us to discuss it further!

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