After diving into the Chinese search market last year, Qihoo 360 has set its sights on an annual market share increase of 10% as it challenges rival Baidu, according to Sina Tech.
Qihoo, which got its start with security software before branching out into Web portal and gaming services, jumped up quickly to take second place in the search industry with an estimated 10% market share. The company is charting a course for continued growth as its president has outlined plans to achieve 20% market share by the end of this year, and 40% share by 2015.
In order to achieve its goals, Qihoo’s going to go head-to-head with Baidu, the current leader. After Google left China in 2010, Baidu had a relatively unchallenged position in the marketplace, rising to almost 80% share. Qihoo’s entrance has posed one of the first credible threats to Baidu’s position.
Competition between Qihoo and Baidu will be fierce. Baidu is currently suing Qihoo over alleged violation of the robot.txt protocol. The Chinese government intervened last fall, forcing search players to sign an agreement to abide by the industry standard. Qihoo recently met with a government watchdog to address complaints of unfair competition.
The coming Chinese search wars will be waged on the mobile front. Baidu revealed earlier today that traffic directed by its mobile searches has surged 1000% over the past thee years. The company currently boasts 80 million daily active users across its various mobile search products.
Image via Flickr / keso