Chinese Internet Firms Bicker About Online Security

November 9, 2010 | Print | Email Email | Comments | Category: Business & Society, Law & Order

Qi Xiangdong, president of Chinese software firm Qihoo 360, revealed during a local media interview that China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and Ministry of Public Security have intervened in the dispute between his company and Tencent.

The Chinese Internet media and e-commerce firm Tencent previously announced that it will shut down its instant messaging service QQ on computers that installed the anti-virus software run by Qihoo 360, marking the escalation of the war between the two software giants in China.

Tencent said in a statement popping out on screens of QQ users that 360 Safe recently launched a new service, which allegedly hijacks QQ's security module and affects the normal functioning of QQ. With 360 Safe installed, Tencent will not be able to protect the accounts of users, the company states. Therefore, to avoid the computer desktops of users being turned into a battlefield, it has made this "hard" decision.

Though Tencent felt "sorry" for the inconvenience brought to QQ users, said a Tencent official, the decision will not be changed until Qihoo 360 removes the service and stops its "malicious slander" against Tencent.

According to reports in Chinese local media, Qi said that Tencent's retaliation is disastrous for Chinese Internet users, because this move may lead to a large scale outbreak of viruses. He said 360 Safe helps Chinese netizens eliminate about 60 million trojans every day. If these netizens uninstall 360 Safe, the virus attacks will reportedly be beyond imagination.

According to statistics provided by Tencent, the company has over one billion active QQ users; while Qihoo 360 said its 360 Safe software has at least 300 million users by June 2010.

At the end of September 2010, Qihoo 360 accused Tencent's QQ instant messaging software for leaking users' private data, and then launched privacy protection software targeting QQ. This became the fuse of the war between Qihoo 360 and Tencent. Since then, Tencent has published statements for several times, stating that Qihoo 360's action is malicious slander and a violation of business rules.

Even with the intervention of Chinese government agencies, these still appears no resolution to these problems between the companies.

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