Chinese search engine company Sogou.com reportedly made an important step for its initial public offering in 2017 and Wang Xiaochuan, chief executive officer of Sogou, revealed that the company already held a multi-party meeting to discuss the related issues.
The multiple parties mentioned by Wang included executives of Sogou and the two major shareholders of Sogou: Tencent and Sohu. They reportedly discussed the possible arrangements for the IPO. Though most details are yet to be decided, it is highly possible that Sogou will be listed on Nasdaq. Meanwhile, Wang also admitted they have not developed a detailed schedule for the IPO.
In January 2017, Wang said during a Chinese-Language media interview that the company planned to make 10% of its shares available for IPO in 2017. As the CEO of Sogou, Wang has two goals for the year: IPO and AI hardware manufacturing.
Sogou is reportedly the third largest search engine in China, following Baidu and Qihoo 360. The company already met the performance standards for IPO and its executive team is ready; however, this move is subject to the approval of Tencent and Sohu.
Sogou was founded by Sohu in 2004 and it was once considered a core asset by Charles Zhang, founder of Sohu.com. In September 2013, Tencent invested USD448 million and a large part of its search engine assets in exchange for a 36.5% stake in Sogou. By September 2016, Tencent had increased its stake in Sogou to 45%, making it the largest shareholder of the search engine. At the same time, Sohu's stake decreased to 38.35%.