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Sogou, Inc.
Sogou logo.png
Type of site
Private company
Founded9 August 2010; 12 years ago (2010-08-09)
HeadquartersBeijing, China
OwnerTencent (38.4%)
Sohu (33.2%)
Created byWang Xiaochuan (CEO)
RevenueUS$924.664 million (2020)
Operating incomeUS$−108.221 million (2020)
Net incomeUS$−140.159 million (2020)

Sogou, Inc. (Chinese: ; pinyin: Sōugǒu; lit. 'Search-dog') is a Chinese technology company that offers a search engine. It is a subsidiary of Tencent.[1]

The offices of Sogou are located on the southeast corner of Tsinghua University in Beijing. Sogou also has offices in Chengdu co-located with Tencent's office building. In April 2018, Sogou established a R&D center in Guangzhou.


Wang Xiaochuan was hired by after graduation from Tsinghua University to create a new search engine. He continued to lead a small team of students from nearby Tsinghua University to develop the new search engine. The Sogou search engine was launched on August 3, 2004 and operated as a separate division within Sohu. In 2006, Sogou invented Sogou Pinyin, the eventual dominant input platform used in China for both desktop PC and mobile.[2] In 2007, Sogou established a search curriculum with Tsinghua University to recruit future engineers and stimulate development. Wang Xiaochuan is known as the "Goalie of the East Gate" for the relentless recruitment from Tsinghua.[citation needed] In 2008, Sogou launched the Sogou Browser.

By 2010, search revenue share was under 1%. Wang Xiaochuan flew to meet Jack Ma, founder of and convinced him of an equity investment. In return, agreed to spin Sogou from a separate division to an independent company, with a separate P&L line. Pre-IPO stock options were granted to employees for the first time.

By 2012, growth had risen by over 300% and purchased shares back from Jack Ma. It started to seek out new partnerships by 2013. Wang Xiaochuan met with Pony Ma, CEO of Tencent, and convinced him of a merger. The search engine merged with Sogou and an equity investment of $448M was made. By 2014, Sogou became the default search engine for Also in 2014, Sogou became the only search engine to be able to search WeChat public accounts. By early 2015, Sogou became profitable.

Sogou debuted on New York Stock Exchange on 9 November 2017, under the ticker "SOGO".[3] The IPO raised 585 million USD offering in a bid to accelerate the use of Artificial intelligence in its business.[4] In 2018, Sogou reported net sales of 1.1 billion USD, a net income of 98 million USD, and reported over 1 billion USD in cash. Their annual growth rate was 24% over the previous year. In late July 2020, Chinese technology company Tencent made a 2.1 billion USD bid to buy Sogou, with the decision to accept and regulatory permissions still pending.[5]

In contrast with 2010, when Sogou was spun off into an independent company, sales have grown from 18.6 million USD annually to 1.1B USD in 2018.[citation needed]

According to iResearch statistics, Sogou accounted for 16.7% of the mobile search market share in China.[6]


Available inChinese
Users560 million
Launched3 August 2004; 18 years ago (2004-08-03)
Current statusActive

Search engine and web applications[edit]

Sogou's web application products are designed to classify online information, such as music, picture, video clip, news, map and vertical information. As of 2017, it has an index of 10 billion pages. As of 2018, over 90% of the company's revenues are from search advertising.

In October 2017, Sogou began testing a general search engine within WeChat, which would allow all 902 million daily active users to access the internet within the app. Since 2013, Sogou has only been able to search and index the contents of WeChat official accounts. On the first quarter conference call, 2018, Sogou provided an update, resulting in a 30% improvement in click through rate. In September 2018, Sogou disclosed an annual agreement with Tencent to continue the search integration experiment until 2023, with annual renewals. In the same filing, Sogou has designated the default search engine for Tencent's QQ products.

Sogou Input Method[edit]

Initially released in 2006, Sogou Pinyin is the most popular Chinese input software in China[citation needed]. It makes use of its search engine technique which are the analysis and categorization of the most popular words or phrases on the Internet. In 2007, Sogou won a patent infringement case against Google for copying their IME. IME data gives companies large amounts of keystroke history to improve search result accuracy.[citation needed]

Sogou Browser[edit]

Launched in December 2008, the Sogou browser adopts a "dual-core" (Google Chrome's WebKit and Internet Explorer's Trident layout engines) techniques and it connects to the cloud to 'recognize malicious websites and software'. According to statcounter (November 2019), Sogou's desktop browser holds a 1.6% market share in China, and is ranked the #7 desktop browser used in China.[7]

Sogou Voice Recognition Technology[edit]

Sogou has been developing voice recognition technology since 2011. At the World Internet Conference in November 2016, CEO Wang Xiaochuan demonstrated a voice translation in both Chinese and English translation with up to 95% accuracy.[dubious ][8] There has been a rush to partner with manufacturers in connecting devices to the internet between competitors. Sogou is currently China's largest search engine by voice,[9] as the country moves from desktop to mobile search.

Hardware Products[edit]

In 2017, Sogou through their Internet of Things subsidiary, sold over 1 million smartwatches in China. The GPS positioning smartwatch focuses on the child market.

On 22 March 2018, Sogou launched the Travel Translator and Travel Pen, which sold out on the first day.[10] The company estimates it will exceed the sales of its smartwatches.

Sogou Lip Recognition Technology[edit]

On 15 December 2017, Sogou debuted a lip reading program that can operate at up to 90% accuracy[dubious ].[11]

Partnership with Microsoft Bing[edit]

In May 2016, Sogou partnered with Microsoft to use Bing to search for English results, and then get the result translated back into Chinese.[12]

Partnership with Tsinghua University[edit]

In 2016, Sogou donated $30 million to Tsinghua University in a joint partnership to build an Artificial Intelligence Institute.[13] It currently supports the Sogou Search Engine Technology Joint Laboratory at Tsinghua University. Located on the edge of the campus of Tsinghua University, Sogou recruits and partners to train students in China. Since 2015, Tsinghua has been ranked as the best engineering and computer science school in the world based on factors including total research output and performance.[citation needed]

According to the prospectus, Sogou owns 100% of Chengdu Easypay, a financial technology company specializing in micro loans. As of April 2018, Sogou is still awaiting Government approval to operate in the country. According to the company address, it is located on the 13th floor of Tencent's building in Chengdu in the 'High-tech zone'.

Partnership with Tobii Dynavox[edit]

In 2022, Sogou partners with Tobii Dynavox to empower people with disabilities in China.[14]



In 2018, Sogou has expanded the global presence of their other keyboard app, Typany, of which they own 100% of the company. To date, the app works in over 100 languages. The app focuses on the voice recognition and language recognition market.[edit]

Along with Tencent, Sogou participated in rounds C and D on According to Sogou's IPO prospectus, their investment in Round C in 2015 was 4.8% of Zhihu. The Round D funding contribution was undisclosed, but valued Zhihu at $900m.

In 2014, Sogou launched Zhihu search[15] and is also the default search engine on Zhihu.

Snack Videos[edit]

In August 2018, Sogou led seed funding for Snack Videos ([16] Based in Seattle, Snack is an AI-driven mobile learning app that delivers short-form videos.


  1. ^ "Sogou founder Wang Xiaochuan steps down as CEO following acquisition by Tencent". KrASIA. 15 October 2021. Archived from the original on 5 November 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2021.
  2. ^ "Search Engine Scuffles: Why lightweight Sogou is still an Important Player - CKGSB". Retrieved 18 March 2022.
  3. ^ "Chinese search engine Sogou up 4% following IPO", TechCrunch, 9 November 2017
  4. ^ "With eye on AI, Sougou debuts on New York Stock Exchange", China Daily, 10 November 2017
  5. ^ Tencent Aims To Bolster Search Business With Proposed Sogou Buyout, 27 July 2020
  6. ^ "Sogou prospectus summary: according to MAU calculated for China's fourth largest Internet company_China IT News". Archived from the original on 5 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Browser Market Share China".
  8. ^ "Chinese tech firms on AI push". China Daily. Xinhua. 19 November 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  9. ^ "Sogou doubles down on AI with launch of real-time devices - 雪花新闻".
  10. ^ "Search engine developer Sogou launches AI-powered travel translator-The First World Hotel Hangzhou-Tourism News".
  11. ^ "Sogou Unveils 90% Accurate AI Lip Reading System to Aid Deaf, Police | Yicai Global". Archived from the original on 9 January 2018.
  12. ^ "Sogou Buddies up with Microsoft's Bing to Power English Search · TechNode". 22 May 2016.
  13. ^ "Department of Computer Science and Technology, Tsinghua University". Archived from the original on 9 January 2018.
  14. ^ "Tobii Dynavox partners with Tencent's Sogou to empower people with disabilities in China · Cision". 26 January 2022.
  15. ^ "Sogou Buddies up with Microsoft's Bing to Power English Search · TechNode". 22 May 2016.
  16. ^ "Snack Launches a New Way to Learn, Better Serving Our Busy Lives". Retrieved 10 April 2019.

External links[edit]