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ByteDance launches new search portal called Toutiao Search

Aug 12, 2019, 8:35 am

ByteDance launched a new search portal today called Toutiao Search. This step taken by ByteDance will be its another venture into the arena of search portals. Toutiao Search is a part of the website Toutiao owned by ByteDance. The new search portal is optimized for mobile phones only as of now, and not yet a full-fledged computer portal.

Even though Toutiao Search is a part of the Toutiao’s website, it functions differently than the website. Toutiao’s search lets its users find articles and news in its app. On the other hand, the Toutiao Search brings up the search results from the Web, but the results shown in the Search would be censored. In this regard, the Toutiao Search functions just like any other media outlet in China, which brings up censored results due to some government issues. For example, if a user is to search for ‘Hong Kong’ the articles related to Hong Kong will only come from the media outlets approved by the State government.

This is partly due to suppress the pro-democracy demonstrations that are going on in the Hong Kong region. Most often than not, the news would come from ByteDance’s services such as Xigua Video, Douyin (its domestic version of TikTok) or Toutiao. Apart from the political searches, even basic searches like ‘restaurant’ will also show a similar mix of web results and media from ByteDance apps.

ByteDance has a new search portal of its own, it will be able to drive the search traffic towards its many other media platforms, and consequently rising up as the main competition to rivals like Baidu which holds 76% of the search engine market, Sogou, Bing, and 360. Google’s efforts to re-enter the Chinese market have been stalled since last year.

Though Toutiao Search is a part of the Toutiao’s website, it functions differently than the website. Toutiao’s search lets its users find articles and news in its app. On the other hand, the Toutiao Search brings up the search results from the Web, but the results shown in the Search would be censored. In this regard, the Toutiao Search functions just like any other media outlet in China, which brings up censored results due to some government issues. For example, if a user is to search for ‘Hong Kong’ the articles related to Hong Kong will only come from the media outlets approved by the State government.

This is partly due to suppress the pro-democracy demonstrations that are going on in the Hong Kong region. Most often than not, the news would come from ByteDance’s services such as Xigua Video, Douyin (its domestic version of TikTok) or Toutiao.

Apart from the political searches, even basic searches like ‘restaurant’ will also show a similar mix of web results, and media from ByteDance apps. What it means is that now that ByteDance has a new search portal of its own, it will be able to drive the search traffic towards its many other media platforms, and consequently rising up as the main competition to rivals like Baidu which holds 76% of the search engine market, Sogou, Bing, and 360. Google’s efforts to re-enter the Chinese market have been stalled since last year.

ByteDance had already hired employees from other search companies like Google, Baidu, Bing and 360.

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