The mobile search engine jointly launched by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and UCWeb Inc will host 200 million users by the end of this year and will be a major challenge to Baidu Inc's dominance in the online search market, UCWeb CEO Yu Yongfu said on Monday.
Yu said the penetration rate of the search engine, called Shenma, reached 20 percent in April and that UCWeb's browser installation base in China will help boost the number of Shenma users.
Alibaba bought an undisclosed stake in UCWeb last year as it takes on Baidu and Tencent Holdings Ltd in the search engine markets. The Hangzhou-based e-commerce giant has been actively buying up businesses in mobile, social networking and cloud computing sectors ahead of its IPO.
Shenma currently has around 100 million users.
On Monday, Yu accused Baidu of unfair competition. He said Baidu briefly put Shenma on a black list earlier this month and advised Chinese Web users not to download it.
Baidu has removed UCWeb off its online app store to limit users from downloading it, Yu said.
"Baidu will not be the top search provider in the mobile sector," said Yu. "Its success in the PC era will not guarantee wins in the mobile Internet market."
Baidu did not comment on Yu's accusations.
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