Coming in second is Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (NYSE:QIHU) with about 12% of the search market. While that may seem like a huge difference, it’s not. About a year ago, Qihoo had 0% of the market share. So, the fact that the company came into this industry and zoomed past Sohu’s Sogou.com is nothing to sneeze at. As Qihoo looks to further increase its search market share, you can bet that Sogou.com is going to lose even more. Who knows, soon it’ll go from 5% to zip.
3. Online portal are evolving.
Now, it may seem that Sohu’s old bread-and-butter — it’s online portal business — may have something going for it. According to Alexa.com, Sohu ranks as the 10th most visited website in China. Unfortunately, Tencent and SINA Corp (NASDAQ:SINA) have even better online portals. Tencent’s QQ.com is the second, while SINA.com is fourth. .
That in and of itself may not mean much. But keep in mind that China is moving to mobile fast. Mobile penetration already outpaces desktop Internet penetration. Put it all together and you can see how Sohu is in deep trouble.
Unlike SINA and Tencent, Sohu doesn’t have a popular mobile channel.
SINA has its microblogging platform, Weibo, while Tencent has WeChat, a social network and communication app. Each of these platforms is reported to have at least 400 million registered users. With such great mobile adoption, Tencent and SINA will soon be able to offer content on mobile more easily. Once they do, Sohu investors may lose even more profits.
Is it time to buy?
Despite a 50% run-up in its stock over the past year, Sohu doesn’t seem to be “killing it” in any market. It has no competitive moat. So, if I were you, I’d sell a couple of Sohu’s shares and look closer into buying one of Sohu’s competitors.
The article 3 Must-Watch Industries Hurting Your Investment originally appeared on Fool.com.
Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.