Qihoo

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Qihoo 360 Technology
Publicly traded limited company
Traded as NYSEQIHU
Industry Internet Security
Founded Beijing, People's Republic of China (2005)
Founder Zhou Hongyi (Chairman, CEO, co-founder), Xiangdong Qi (President, director, co-founder)
Headquarters Beijing, China
Area served
China, Global
Key people
Hongyi Zhou, Xiangdong Qi, Shu Cao (Chief Engineer & Director), Alex Zuoli Xu (Co-CFO), Jue Yao (Co-CFO)
Products Antivirus software, Web Browser, Mobile Antivirus Software, and Mobile Application Store
Revenue $1.39 billion (2014)[1]
Profit $222.8 million (2014)[1]
Number of employees
4,200
Website 360.cn

Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd., or Qihoo 360, (Chinese: ; pinyin: Qíhǔ, pronounced CHEE-hoo in English) is a Chinese internet security company known for its antivirus software (360 Safeguard, 360 Mobile Safe), Web Browser (360 Browsers), and Mobile Application Store (360 Mobile Assistant). It was founded by Zhou Hongyi and Qi Xiangdong in June 2005.[2][3] Qihoo 360 had 496 million users for its Internet Security products and 641 million users for its Mobile Antivirus products as of June 2014.[4]

Business Model[edit]

Qihoo 360 initiated its business operations by selling third-party antivirus software online. Soon afterwards they realized the potential of the freemium business model in the Chinese market and started providing their own antivirus products free of charge. In a short period of time, Qihoo 360's security products gained popularity and market share in China. Their current revenues are generated by leveraging their massive user base through online advertising and services such as online games, remote technical support, and system integration.

Products[edit]

  • 360 Internet Security - PC security product, launched on June 11, 2013.
  • 360 Mobile Security - Mobile security product for Android, launched on June 11, 2013.
  • 360 Safeguard - Internet security product including antivirus and system performance optimization.
  • 360 Secure Browser - Web browser that features integrated Trident (Internet Explorer) layout technology and Webkit (Google Chrome, Safari) layout technology, meaning that depending on the page being requested by the user, the 360 Browser chooses the optimal layout technology for that webpage.
  • 360 Mobile Assistant - Mobile application store that enables users to download, install and manage Android apps from their PC.
  • 360 Security - international version of mobile antivirus and general security product.
  • 360 Total Security - Qihoo's newest product which cleans and speeds up Windows for global users.[5]

Financials[edit]

Qihoo 360's main revenue sources include advertising space on 360 Startup Page, as well as revenue sharing with independent games developers which have published their games on the 360 Mobile Assistant. The revenue breakdown in 2012 was split between the revenue streams as follows: 67% from advertising, 31% from internet value added services and less than 1% from selling third party software. The revenues increased by 96.0% from $167.9 million in 2011 to $329.0 million in 2012. As of January 2014, the market cap is $11.42B.[6]

Investor scrutiny[edit]

In 2011 and 2012, Qihoo 360 has experienced scrutiny from short sellers on the stock exchange. The main concerns have been quality of accounts and quality of user data provided by Qihoo 360. The short sellers have mainly pointed to the discrepancy in reporting figures market shares between Qihoo 360 and firms such as Baidu. The most prominent critique has come from Citron Research, the stock research firm, and Anonymous Analytics, the hacker network.[7][8] However, Qihoo 360 responded forcefully to both of these critiques by releasing the 20-F full annual report which was audited by Deloitte which is very unusual for American listed Chinese companies and a response to Anonymous Analytics.[9][10]

New Initiatives[edit]

In the summer of 2012, Qihoo 360 entered the smartphone market by launching the Battleship phone together with Haier, the large Chinese consumer electronics company.[11] Qihoo 360 said that Haier will provide the hardware while Qihoo 360 will focus on customising the software, albeit the main operating system will be Android. Qihoo 360 received over 220,000 pre-orders for the phone the first day.[12]

Later in 2012, Qihoo 360 entered the search market by launching so.com, thereby directly competing with Baidu, the dominant search engine in China. Qihoo has seen its share of unique visitors quickly grow to 10.52%.[13]

Most recently, Qihoo 360 has struck deals with major technology companies Google and Nokia for search and mobile phone partnerships, respectively.

On July 18, 2013, Qihoo launched its new search engine Leidian.com, which aimed at increasing its presence in the mobile market.[14]

Cheating Allegations[edit]

In 2015, security testing firms AV-Comparatives, AV-TEST and Virus Bulletin jointly decided to strip Qihoo, along with jointly-accused Tencent, of their certifications and no longer list them in antimalware rankings.[15] It was found that Qihoo's product submitted for testing differed from what is offered to customers, falsely improving reported issues and performance. Further, it was revealed the software release was configured to disable its own engine, and instead use the one licensed from Bitdefender.[16] The software as supplied for testing would have resulted in "a considerably lower level of protection and a higher likelihood of false positives" for users.

In response to the allegations, Qihoo 360 issued a statement [17]that denied any wrongdoing. Specifically, Qihoo noted that at the time it made clear to the testing firms that the configuration of the software submitted was different from the version offered to the public. In the public version, the third party engine is off by default, in consideration that most of our users are running low power computing devices. To satisfy lab conditions, the consideration of power constraint was discarded. Qihoo’s anti-malware product offers multiple engines, and regardless of the initial configuration, the user has the freedom to choose how many of them should be activated at any time.

Future expansion[edit]

In 2013, the company announced they would like to expand into overseas market with English, Russian, Japanese, Spanish, German, French and Korean languages support. Currently they are recruiting languages talents to develop this kind of software.

The firm announced at the end of July in 2013 that it was in early talks to acquire Sohu.com’s Sogou.com search engine for around $1.4 billion.[18]

December 2013, the company increases stake in Brazilian Tech Company PSafe.[19][20]

July 11, 2014, the company has set up a venture capital (VC) fund in Silicon Valley.[21]

References[edit]

External links[edit]