Alipay has recently carried out a round of internal organization restructure where the search business is now an independent business division headed by Yuan Huaibin.
Yuan Huaibin has been working in Alibaba for 12 years, primarily in Taobao search products. He successfully led Taobao’s search recommendation product team in the past and was responsible for features like “Guess you like” and “Something good,” which were considered important transformations for mobile Taobao.
Separating the search business shows the strategic importance Alipay attaches to it. Official Alipay data shows over the past year, search has become a core traffic entry point for users to access Alipay services. Alipay search box will undergo a major revision with a smart and personal touch, sources said.
Currently, the Alipay eco-system covers services such as food, clothing, housing, transportation, as well as a mini program system. Increasing investment in the search business seems like a logical next step.
Alibaba is definitely not alone in stepping up its game in the search business. ByteDance launched an independent encyclopedia product both in a web version and an app version. Huawei also launched a self-developed search engine.