Our go-to search engine Google is not present in China. The company pulled out when the Chinese government placed a lot of restrictions on the kind of search results the site can or cannot carry. The Chinese people have been using homegrown Baidu to search for any information they need. Baidu has been enjoying a virtual monopoly in this space. That situation may however change when ByteDance, the company that owns the TikTok video service, has thrown its hat in the ring and wants to offer search engine services to its customers, as per a Bloomberg report.
The offering may not be a pureplay search engine, at least to start with. The company runs a news site called Jinri Toutiao and this is the vehicle it will use first to let customers search for news or products, etc. These search results can then be utilized to gain advertising revenue.
Douyin is another service that ByteDance operates in China. This is the same as TikTok elsewhere out of China. Douyin will be used by the company to build a search engine within.
ByteDance has earned a reputation for hiring technology executives from top companies a trend not so common with many Chinese companies. For the search engine too, it is learnt that ByteDance has brought in people from rival Baidu apart from Google and even Microsoftâ€™s Zing to work on its search engine.
ByteDance has been able to establish a proven model with TikTok. Though a little controversial in countries like India, the company has built a huge following in a relatively short period of its existence. It did the corrections the authorities wanted it to do and continues to offer its services to the customers. ByteDance will now use those learnings in taking the search engine model around the world.