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GMIC Beijing Keynote: UCWeb CEO Yu Yongfu on Mobile Search Engine Shenma

With more than 500 million active users worldwide, a market share of 50% among mobile browser users in China, more than 100 million overseas users and a 4-year-old gaming platform 9game which has grown to be the second most popular gaming platform in China, UCWeb celebrated its 10th anniversary this year with some impressive credentials.

Today at GMIC Beijing, Yu Yongfu, CEO of UCWeb and Shenma Search delivered a keynote speech on UCWeb’s growth so far and their future plans especially with their newly launched mobile search engine Shenma.

Shenma started 4 years ago in 2010. UCWeb acquired the search business of Alibaba last year to integrate it into Shenma. At the moment, Shenma has more than 20% market penetration in China, and Yu said reflects the result of Shenma search engine recommendations to half of UCWeb’s users, penetration number is expected to soar much higher if they recommend Shenma to all of their users.

On the trend of PC based technology companies not doing very well in the mobile era, Yu said “The more powerful you are in the PC age, the more burden you will carry in the mobile age,”. He pointed out a couple of examples for this trend: Intel is a well-recognized brand when it comes to PC processors but not on the mobile end; , Microsoft is not a dominant player in the mobile OS ecosystem whereas it is the leading PC operating system. “In China, Baidu is doubtlessly the top search engine, but no one can say for sure that Baidu will also win the battle of mobile search engine as well, ”Yu mentioned in his speech.

Yu believes that an ad-centric business model for search engine will not last for a long time. Content has been placed far behind the priority given to monetization. Yu also shared that he has a big decision to be announced in next month.

Author: Agnes Zhao

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