China’s largest internet company, Tencent Holdings Ltd., on September 16 said that it had paid $448 million for a 36.5 percent stake in the country’s third-largest search engine, Sogou, in an effort to win more users. Tencent—a provider of online games, social networking, and popular internet messaging services like WeChat and QQ— has been locked in a long struggle with main rivals Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Qihoo 360 Technology Co., and search giant Baidu Inc.

The investment shores up an alliance between Tencent and Sogou owner Sohu.com Inc., which was entertaining other bids before accepting the one from Tencent. Right before the deal was announced, Tencent’s stock market capitalization surpassed $100 billion, slightly less than the value of Facebook.

Posted by Catherine Matacic