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What: Shares of Chinese search engine Baidu
So what: Baidu has been China’s dominant search engine, but today’s downgrade came on the heels of revelations that the company might take legal recourse against Qihoo for its newly-designed search engine. The smaller Qihoo is known primarily for its Internet security products, but had an agreement with Google
Now what: Competitive threats are always a danger for Internet companies, but both Baidu and Deutsche Bank may be overestimating Qihoo’s ability to develop a truly viable alternative. Google’s faced billion-dollar threats for years, and yet has kept a chokehold on global English-language searches. This situation is certainly worth keeping a close eye on, but investors shouldn’t expect Qihoo to suddenly trounce a very well-established Chinese search engine without substantial effort and significant market dissatisfaction with the incumbent.
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