Alibaba has launched a new search engine called Aliyun, which makes use of the same brand as its mobile operating system. Both are actually operated by an Alibaba subsidiary, AliCloud.
Google and Alibaba had a bit of a beef last year, regarding the OS. Acer was set to unveil a smartphone utilizing the OS, which (according to Google) is based on Android, but Google felt that it was a problem in that it was not compatible with the Android ecosystem. As TheNextWeb recaps:
Rejecting Google’s claims that Aliyun OS is a forked version of Android, Alibaba pledged not to deviate from its mobile strategy. The company did, however, move to put some distance between it and Aliyun OS by spinning off the division.
As Greg Sterling at Search Engine Land notes, Google only has less than 5% of the Chinese search market, but Aliyun's search results pages more closely resemble Google's (or at least an older version of Google's) than they do market leader Baidu's.
Last month, Alibaba founder and CEO Jack Ma announced that he would shed his CEO title, but remain executive chairman. In December, the company, more known for its ecommerce offerings, announced that it had hit a huge annual sales milestone.