NetEase Outsources Search Division to Qihoo 360
Youdao.com, a search engine operated by NetEase Inc (Nasdaq: NTES), said it has outsourced its search service to Qihoo 360 Technology Co (NYSE: QIHU), the developer of China's most used antivirus. Youdao was launched by NetEase, a web portal, in 2006, while Qihoo 360 began offering search service a year ago and has fast tracked its share of the Chinese search market to 15.5% due to the large amount of users of its antivirus and 360 Browser. Baidu controlled 73% of China's search market in June, and Youdao less than 0.3%, according to Hitwise data. NetEase has been scaling back investment in its search business for 1.5 years, an insider told Yicai.com.
Tencent Upgrades WeChat
Tencent Holdings Ltd (HKG: 0700) has launched the much anticipated upgraded version of its instant messaging app WeChat, the most popular of its kind in China. Playing game with contacts is the highlight of WeChat 5.0. The updated version supports voice-to-text function and offers 4 winks at 6 yuan each, its first fee-paying service. WeChat, which also allows users to share photos and now to play games, has gone far beyond just an instant messaging app. The number of its users is expected to exceed 400 million soon.
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