Sina has publicly admitted that they seeing a gradual encroachment on their Weibo user-base by such new social services as Tencent’s Weixin. However, despite such setbacks, Sina is still moving forward and there are rumors that they will be changing their search engine functions to accommodate YunYun, a social search engine run by former Google China employees.
According to the report released by 36kr, Sina’s search will be replaced by YunYun’s microblog search engine, and though the engine will display results from outside microblogging sources, they will not show up as first-page results.
Rumor has it that the service will most likely be first used on Weibo’s mobile clients. Though it is not entirely clear how the engine is intended function, one could speculate that Sina is looking for new ways to compete in the Internet market.
Sina has an advantage in the fact that Weibo content is much richer that other websites in terms of news and viral information. If Sina could tap this content and make it more readily accessible through a more functional search engine, then they could truly compete more directly with the likes of companies like Baidu and even traditional news media.
The YunYun team knows search engines and apparently Sina has already invested as much as millions in the company. With the change commencing at an unknown date, it cannot be said for certain that this will be a successful move, however it is certainly good news for the two companies.
As Baidu and Qihoo ramp up their competition in the traditional search market, Sina may change the entire market situation altogether.