War between Qihoo 360, Tencent victimizes users

09:03, November 05, 2010      

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Tecent, technology company and controller of China's most popular instant messaging platform, the QQ, held a press conference Thursday over its escalating war with Qihoo 360, one of China's leading online security software developers.

The war between the companies took on a more serious stance as Tencent on Wednesday started to display a message on the users' interface that it will disable its services to computers installed with 360's anti-virus software.

On the conference, the company apologized to all of its users for the incurred inconvenience and justified the move as "protecting users' interest"; and it also stressed that the decision was difficult to make.

360 issued a statement Wednesday evening appealing to users to stop using QQ for a period of three days. The company re-affirmed that its software enjoys a coverage of more than 90 percent of the country's web users, and that uninstalling the software may jeopardize the online security to the entirety of the industry.

"A new tag-on service run by 360 Safe has affected the normal functionality of QQ. With 360 Safe installed, we can not guarantee the safety of our service," Tencent said in a statement popping out on screens of millions of QQ users. "To avoid our clients' computer desktops being turned into a battlefield, we have made this 'hard' decision."

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Ministry of Public Security have joined in the battle as arbitraries.

The dispute has left users with no options and some QQ users term it a "choose-or-lose game." "In the fight between the two companies, those most disrespected are the users," a web user commented.

On Thursday, 10 industry analysts jointly issued a statement jointly calling for the war to be given truce to. "This situation cannot continue. We are deeply concerned that it will bring immense losses to the industry," said them in the statement.
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They further call for both companies to respect users, and also for the government to interfere.

The rivalry between QQ and 360, whose services and products do not directly compete against each other, stems from 360 accusing Tencent of breaching users' privacy on September 27, when 360 launched a free privacy software program known as "360 Privacy Protector."

The software maker claimed that Tencent's QQ application spied on its more than 600 million active users by scanning users' documents on hard drives.

The allegations were denied by Tencent, which immediately hit back by accusing 360 of fabricating facts, and by filing a lawsuit against it for unfair practices. In response, 360 said, "The latest evidence showed QQ's black-list function has helped the company make huge profits by scanning user's hard drives."

Source: Global Times

(Editor:黄蓓蓓)

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