Sohu, Sogou and Tencent jointly announced a strategic investment today. Tencent will invest $448 million for 36.5% of Sogou and let the latter merge its own search service Soso. Tencent’s stake in Sogou will be increased to 40% later, according to the announcement.
Sogou will still be an independent company after the investment and mergence; Sohu will still be its shareholder. Charles Zhang, CEO of Sohu, will still be the president of Sogou and Wang Xiaochuan will remain the CEO. Martin Lau, president of Tencent, and Ren Yuxin, COO of Tencent, will join Sogou’s board of directors.
The two companies will jointly develop, cross-promote and integrate their respective products and services, and work together on search technology data sharing, etc. Tencent will allow Sogou’s products, including Sogou Pinyin and Sogou Search, access its huge user base.