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With eye on AI, Sogou has US IPO

By Zhang Ruinan in New York | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-11-10 12:11

Sogou, China's second-largest search engine, raised $585 million in an initial public offering on Thursday in a bid to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in its business.

"Today's IPO is a milestone for our company," said Wang Xiaochuan, CEO of Sogou. "It's a recognition of the team's efforts in the past and marks a new start for us to make more innovations on a bigger stage in the age of AI."

The stock, listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SOGO, priced at the top of its $11-$13 range for its 45 million American depositary shares (ADS). Shares then moved higher, closed at $13.50, up close to 4 percent.

Sogou has granted its underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 6.75 million ADS to cover overallotments. JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and CICC were among the top underwriters of the offering.

Wang said the company intends to use the proceeds to increase investment in AI development, improving cooperation with companies that could provide exclusive and original data sets as well as research and marketing.

The Beijing-based company is a unit of China's Inc, an internet service company that includes search and gaming platforms. will remain Sogou's controlling shareholder after the IPO.

Sogou Search is the second-largest search engine in China by mobile queries, and Sogou is the fourth-largest internet company in China, based on monthly active users in September, according to iResearch.

The company, which competes with Baidu, reported net income of $66.7 million for the nine months ended Sept 30, compared with $45.4 million for the same period a year earlier.

Backed by Tencent Holdings, Sogou has benefited from being the default search engine on various Tencent products that provide general search offerings, such as the Mobile QQ Browser,, WeChat and the PC Web directories and

"The core products of Sogou are two very important channels in terms of human-machine interface - the search engine expresses information and the input method collects information," said Wang. "With the further advancement of AI development, I hope our products can help our users understand and interact with information better."

With eye on AI, Sogou has US IPO

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