Internet Society of China urges firms to compete fairly, respect users

08:51, November 23, 2010      

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The Internet Society of China (ISC) called on the country's Internet firms Monday to compete fairly and protect the interests of users, concluding the month-long spat between two of China's leading Internet firms Tencent and Qihoo 360.

"We hope Tencent and Qihoo 360 fully recognize the significance of keeping market order and protecting the interests of Internet users, and the two sides take earnest measures to defuse disputes," the ISC said in an emailed statement to Xinhua.

Tencent, parent company of the popular instant messaging service QQ, and China's leading provider of antivirus software Qihoo 360, both issued public apologies late on Sunday for "disruptions" to users, after being ordered by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to do so.

The two firms have been involved in a tussle for more than a month, accusing each other of bad business practices, such as spying, hacking and leaking users' information. The public feud has triggered criticism from Internet users in China, which has an online population of 420 million.

The row began in September when Tencent encouraged users to download its upgraded security software and Qihoo 360 subsequently accused QQ of trying to scan its users' personal data and issued tools to block QQ components.

The ISC said the rapid development of China's Internet had benefited from an equitable and fair legal and policy environment, urging Internet companies to engage in lawful, fair and orderly competition.



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