Chinese Internet company Alibaba has created a new search engine (Aliyun) to challenge Chinese market leader Baidu and more symbolically, Google. The new entity resides within Alibaba Group’s AliCloud subsidiary. It offers all the standard features of search: Internet, news, images and maps (via AutoNavi).
The appearance and functionality of the SERP on Aliyun is more like Google than a comparable page on Chinese search leader Baidu’s site.
Currently, Google has a tiny share of the Chinese search market: less than 5 percent. According to data from October 2012, this is what the search leaderboard in China looks like:
Source: Marbridge Consulting
It’s not at all clear that new search entrant Aliyun will succeed. However, Alibaba has considerable resources and can take a long-term view, given that search isn’t its primary business.
Last year Alibaba, which is still partly owned by Yahoo, created the Aliyun mobile OS, using Android. Acer was going to release a smartphone using the OS, but was forced to abort by Google, which claimed it was a “forked” version of Android and thus could not be used by Acer. Google argued that Acer was bound to develop “compatible” versions of Android as a member of the Open Handset Alliance.
It’s safe to say there’s some enmity between the companies.
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