Qihoo replacing Google search engine with its own

Maker of China's most popular Web browser in process of replacing Google with its own newly launched search engine as default choice, citing drop in Google's customer service declined since its exit from China in 2010.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor

Qihoo 360 Technology is replacing Google's search service with its own services for its Website and browser.

The Chinese company which launched its own search engine so.360.cn last week on Aug. 16, is in the process of making it the default option on its Web site and browser, Alex Xu, the company's chief financial officer told The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Tuesday. Previously, the Beijing-based company had offered Google's search technology as the default choice.

Although users will still have the option to select Google's search service, it is likely that the switch will make users use Qihoo's own service, Xu noted. Google's customer service had also declined since making its decision to leave China in 2010, and Qihoo's aim was to provide a quality search engine for its users, he added.

"We believe there is room in China's search market for a search engine that can provide more relevant results at a fast speed," he said.

Google still operates offices in China after leaving China, but its search and other services such as Gmail are often disrupted by the government's Web filtering system. In April this year, the search engine's co-founder Sergey Brin admitted that he underestimated China's ability to filter online information and is concerned about efforts of repressive states such as China, Saudi Arabia and Iran to censor and restrict information online.

In a separate statement Tuesday, Qihoo announced that its second quarter net profit dropped 37 percent to US$7 million. This missed analyst forecasts of US$10.1 million, despite revenue more than doubling to to US$72.8 million. The drag on the bottomline was largely due to a spike in spending to add services, such as its recently launched search engine.


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