(Yicai Global) Oct. 16 -- Chinese internet search technology developer Sogou Inc., a subsidiary of internet firm Sohu Inc. [NASDAQ:SOHU], has filed for an initial public offering, seven years after its parent.
Sogou filed an IPO prospectus with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Oct. 13, proposing to raise up to USD600 million through the share issue. The shares will be floated on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker SOGO.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. [NYSE:JPM], Credit Suisse Group, The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. [NYSE:GS] and China International Capital Corp. Ltd. [HKG:3908] will underwrite the offering, with China Renaissance Group acting as co-underwriter.
Shares at Sohu closed 13.06 percent higher at USD64.5 a share after the news came out.
Shenzhen-based tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. [HKG:0700] bought into Sofo with a USD448 million strategic investment in 2013. It is the firm's largest shareholder with a 43.7-percent class-B shareholding of 152 million shares, the IPO prospectus said. Sohu and its founder Zhang Chaoyang own 37.8-percent and 9.2-percent stakes, respectively.
Artificial intelligence is a high-density keyword in the prospectus and appears some 90 times in the document.
Online search is one of the most important applications of AI, according to the prospectus. Core functions of online service engines form the foundation for AI development, giving online search companies a clear edge in developing and commercializing new products and services. Industry advances will also lead to breakthroughs in search algorithms, especially in terms of improving human-computer interaction and search results.
Sogou will continue to focus on language and make it easier for users to communicate their needs through improved human-computer interfaces, the firm's chief executive, Wang Xiaochuan, said in July. The firm will develop next-generation search engines based on interactive question and answers, which will allow people to "search everywhere," he added.