Soku, the Chinese video search engine created by Youku, could get to set out on its own as an independent company after its parent merges with long-time rival Tudou in the third quarter of this year, if a new report is to be believed.
Youku began beta testing Soku in 2010, before officially launching it last May.Â The search engine has kept a relatively low profile since its launch, but that shouldnâ€™t be taken as evidence that Youku doesnâ€™t have big plans for it.
â€śAs some Youku staff revealed, this service indeed is a major project since its launch in 2010, but has not been really promoted by the company,â€ť the report read.
The link-up of Tudou and Youku, which was announced in March, has led to further consolidation in the Chinese Internet video space. Sohu, Baidu-backed iQiyi and Tencent announced plans this spring to share content licensing and broadcast costs in order to compete against the combined force of Tudou/Youku, which will have roughly 50 percent market share after the merge.
The finalized deal couldnâ€™t come too soon for the two companies, as rising costs caused both toÂ sufferÂ steep losses last quarter. Youku and Tudou believe the merger could save up to $60 million in operating costs.
Image via Flickr / arnoudm