In China, Baidu has been a dominant player of the search engine market. As 360 and Google reached a collaboration agreement, and Baidu takes stakes in Kingsoft, the war between two parties will become more fierce in 2013.
In fact, Baidu's concern is not without reason. In addition to join forces with Google, 360 is agressively recruiting distributors, in an attempt to conquer new territories in the first and second line cities. 360 also takes an open platform strategy, including adoption of quality vertical search engines, providing free API to strategic partners, and free certification of official websites. 360 CEO Qi Xiang Dong declared that 360 Search open platform has attracted thousands of partners to join.
To face the increasing competition from 360, Baidu has started to worry. Market participants speculated that the rumors of the Baidu's taking stake in Kingsoft should not be groundless. It is understood that the negotiation on Baidu's strategic investment in Kingsoft network is nearing completion, and is close to final signature.
However, industry views on whether the joint force of Baidu and Kingsoft can withstand the competition from 360 are quite diverse. Firstly, 360 is the market leader in the free Internet security software market. Secondly, Baidu lacks distribution channels. In particular, the previous collaboration between Tencent and Kingsoft has failed to effectively prevent rapid growth of 360.
Insiders pointed out that although whether Baidu and Kingsoft can stop 360 or not is still unknown, the China search engine war between the parties will be intensified. As a result, the future pattern of SEO marketing and search marketing market in China is bound to change.