Headed by Xiamen-based Shusheng, 637 search engine sales agents in China have formed an alliance in Beijing to provide a one-stop Internet service for users as a way to counter search titans like Baidu.com (BIDU) and Google.com (GOOG).
The members of the alliance say they have been compelled to form the alliance because they have been asked to undertake too much of the cost of selling ads for the search engine giants. In addition, the agents are angry that the search engines have started direct sales to users, which undercuts the agents and eliminates much of their business.
In China, many search engines previously outsourced their text-based search engine advertising sales to these agents around the country. The alliance hopes to pressure search engines to start using their services more, and also give netizens another unified method to post their advertisements online.
A representative from Shusheng estimates that there are about 120,000 such agents in China, though they only hope to get about 1000 members in their alliance by the end of the year.