Sohu.com ( SOHU) and Qunar.com, China’s largest travel portal, announced the formation of a strategic partnership to better meet the information needs of Chinese travelers. Sohu.com and Qunar.com will jointly offer through Sohu’s Sogou Map Service a new travel information site, providing a range of contextual advertising formats that allow advertisers such as airlines and hotels to better target consumers.
For the first time, Sohu’s consumers will be able to search for thousands of discounted flights, hotels, packages and other travel options by utilizing Qunar-powered search technologies.
With an active user base of over 50 million Chinese internet users and over 10 million points of internet, Sohu.com’s Sogou Map Service in partnership with Qunar will provide advertisers the necessary scale to reach China’s “digital elite”, one of the most affluent, tech savvy and sought-after demographic groups in the world’s fastest growing consumer market.
Sohu’s CTO, Wang Xiao Chuan, said, “Only the mash-up of Sohu’s map platform with outstanding travel applications provided by Qunar will stand out to win the trust and favour of consumers in China. The cooperation of Sohu’s Sogou Map Service with Qunar.com is in line with our “full-feature, full-service” strategy. From this day onward, consumers will be able to make a one-stop travel-related search, expediting their trip planning, feature evaluation and price comparisons.”
Qunar’s President, Zhuang Chen Chao, noted, “The partnership with Sohu’s Sogou Map Service was only possible because both companies realize the potential impact of online bookings as the next growth driver for the travel industry in China. I believe that the future of search engines lies in enhanced information analysis and the collaboration between various travel service players to offer advertisers more relevant options to target the most highly qualified consumers. We are looking forward to a long-term and favorable partnership with Sohu.”
Additionally, Wang Fushan, the Deputy Secretary of the China Electronic Chamber of Commerce, pointed out that users of internet map services can easily be directed to travel search web sites and thereby meet their ever-changing requirements. The business cooperation between Sohu and Qunar will be an example of a successful business collaboration that helps advertisers reach their ROI objectives.