Qihoo 360’s search engine product has added a new Wikipedia-like encyclopedia service, which is reportedly undergoing internal testing and will be launched to the public soon.
At present, the new service Baike.so.com is not displayed on the front page of the search engine. In addition, the editing function is currently not available to ordinary users and it is fully maintained by the team at Qihoo 360.
Qihoo 360’s encyclopedia service cooperates with many third-party content providers, including Sina’s real estate channel; information technology website Zol.com.cn; tourism content provider Mafengwo.cn; and medical information website 39.net.
This new encyclopedia service seems to solve three problems in China. First, Wikipedia is sometimes blocked to Chinese users, so this new China-friendly resource will ostensibly not be blocked. Second, Chinese users have complained in the past that Wikipedia’s non-Chinese editors often seem racist, ignorant, or expurgationists of Chinese culture as they have rejected or omitted important personalities, events, and situations from their non-Chinese language Wikipedia pages. Finally, by relying on third-party professional data providers, the content hopefully will be more accurate — albeit still censored — than some of the spurious information found often on Wikipedia.
Qihoo 360 launched photo, software and application search services at the end of December 2012, and a large part of the contents is provided by third parties.
Qihoo 360’s comprehensive search service was launched on August 16, 2012. It currently provides searches of web pages, news, Q&A, music, maps, videos, photos, software, and mobile applications.