BEIJING: Sohu aims to grow its share of the Chinese search market from less than 1% to 5% by next year, the firm's chief technology officer has said.
Wang Xiaochuan, who is also ceo of Sogou.com, the web portal's search arm, plans to do battle with home-grown market leader Baidu and US search giant Google.
Baidu controlled 73% of China's search market during the last quarter, according to data from Analysys International.
Meanwhile, Google had a market share of 21.6% and Sogou trailed on just 0.9%.
Sohu, whose search advertising sales increased by 134% year-on-year to reach $5.4m (€3.9m, £3.4m) in Q3 2010, stands to benefit from Google's decision to deprioritise the Chinese market.
Google is to end its deals with seven of its advertising resellers by November, following a series of disputes with the Chinese government over censorship.
But Sohu is now negotiating with Google's former partners to embark on new ventures.
The firm is also planning to partner with Alibaba Group, a Chinese ecommerce firm.
"The search landscape will not change in the short term, but Sohu is likely to benefit from Google's exit from the mainland in the longer term," Charles Zhang, Sohu chairman, commented.
"While a 10 percent market share will be a bit hard for us, a 5 percent one is an attainable goal," Wang added.
Data sourced from Xinhua; additional content by Warc staff