Sohu.com (SOHU) has closed the acquisition of Go2Map, a Chinese online mapping service and search engine.

This week Sohu's search engine SoGou.com launched its mapping search services in open beta version, integrating Go2Map's technology to provide convenient maps, location and transportation information to SoGou users. Currently SoGou has over three million pieces of mapping data, covering 200 cities across China, including high-way information, intra-city transportation as well as street information, which are all easily accessible to users by use of key words.

In a press release, the company's CEO Charles Zhang said, "We believe the Go2Map acquisition will enhance our overall competitive strength as a portal and search engine as we integrate Go2Map's rich technological expertise in professional location-based information. We expect Go2Map to contribute to our strength in localization search as it allows us to offer our consumers more differentiated and compelling content in our drive to make SoGou one of the leading online search engines for the Chinese market."

The acquisition involves the payment of US$9.3 million in cash, of which US$400,000 had been paid as of the signing of the share purchase agreement, and US$8.9 million was paid upon the closing of the acquisition on May 31, 2005. An additional amount, not to exceed US$2.5 million, will be paid over two years after the closing of the acquisition, subject to the satisfaction and attainment of certain post closing operating and financial milestones of Go2Map.

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