Alibaba partners with U.S.-based Quixey for mobile app search in China

Alibaba had previously provided funding to Quixey last year

China's Alibaba Group has decided to power app searches for its mobile operating system using technology from U.S.-based Quixey, a company in which it invested.

Quixey, which runs a mobile app by the same name, made the announcement on Friday, a year after it received funding from Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant perhaps best known for its huge IPO on the New York Stock Exchange last month.

Unlike typical Web search engines, Quixey is geared at helping users find the most appropriate mobile apps they need. In addition, it can locate content and functions stored on mobile apps. For example, a user could query "taxi booking" to find the related services.

Friday's partnership means that the U.S. company will become the sole provider of app-related searching on YunOS, Alibaba's mobile operating system, said Quixey in a statement.

Most of Quixey's users come from the U.S., but the company hopes to grow in China with the Alibaba partnership, said its chief operating officer Guru Gowrappan in an interview.

"We want to become a common mobile search platform in China for several different partners," he said, adding that Quixey is not limiting itself to Alibaba for potential tie-ups.

Alibaba declined to comment. But the company first unveiled its mobile OS back in mid-2011. Since then smartphone use has grown in China, and the devices have become the number one way the country's user access the Internet.

Alibaba's YunOS, however, still hasn't gained much traction in the Chinese smartphone market, and its market share has been below 1 percent in recent quarters, said Kiranjeet Kaur, an analyst at research firm IDC.

"There are just a handful of vendors bringing phones using this OS, and those too are not very well known ones," she added in an email. Google's Android OS remains the dominant operating system in the country.

Next week Alibaba is slated to make new announcements regarding its YunOS, including a new phone, according to a company website.

Over the last year, the Chinese e-commerce giant has been making investments in U.S. tech companies, including in online retail, mobile messaging and gaming. Analysts speculate Alibaba could end up partnering with these U.S. firms to buttress its business in China.

Quixey's COO said Alibaba has been a strong supporter of the company and its vision for better app searching. "Mobile search is broken today," Gowrappan said, adding that current search engines rely too much on product names to find apps. Quixey hopes to change that by focusing on searching for app functionality, and what users hope to do with their smartphones.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags mobile applicationse-commerceAlibaba GroupMobile OSesmobileinternet

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?