WeChat Set To Enter Chinese Search Market

WeChat has launched a new search feature within its app. The new feature, imaginatively named 'Search', allows users to search through all of WeChat's brand accounts, music pages, articles and more. However, speculation has been rife since before the announcement that the feature will be extended to include Tencent's Zhihu service, which would allow people to search outside the WeChat app. This extended service is now in the beta stage of testing. A spokesperson from the WeChat-focused marketing firm WalktheChat, has said that WeChat currently has more data than Baidu, and that if “WeChat users start to make search queries inside the app, the combination of social data, payment data, and search data, will kill Baidu”. Currently, the search market in China is dominated by Baidu, with companies such as Sogou and 360 Search taking the rest of the share, whilst Google is banned in the country. However, with this recent announcement from WeChat, which has 930 million users, that could be about to change.