Qihoo 360

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Qihoo 360
IndustryComputer software
FoundedLondon, United Kingdom, 2005; 15 years ago (2005)
FounderZhou Hongyi (Chairman, CEO, co-founder), Qi Xiangdong (President, director, co-founder)
HeadquartersBeijing, China
Area served
Key people
Zhou Hongyi, Qi Xiangdong, Cao Shu (Chief Engineer & Director), Xu Zuoli Alex (Co-CFO), Yao Jue (Co-CFO)
ProductsSecurity software
ServicesComputer security
Revenue$1.39 billion (2014)[1]
$222.8 million (2014)[1]
Number of employees

Qihoo 360 (Chinese: 360; pinyin: Qíhǔ Sānliùlíng; approximate pronunciation CHEE-hoo), full name Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd., is a Chinese internet security company[2] known for its antivirus software (360 Safeguard, 360 Mobile Safe), Web browser (360 Secure Browser), and mobile application store (360 Mobile Assistant). It was founded by Zhou Hongyi and Qi Xiangdong in June 2005.[3][4] Qihoo 360 have ≈500 million users for its Internet Security products and over 600 million users for its Mobile Antivirus products as of June 2014.[5]

The company's head office is in Chaoyang District, Beijing.[6]

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.


  • 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.[7]


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.


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.[8] 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.[9]

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's share of unique visitors grew to 10.52%.[10] "Sōu" (搜) in Chinese means "search". On July 18, 2013, Qihoo launched its new search engine leidian.com, which aimed at increasing its presence in the mobile market.[11] At the end of July in 2013 Qihoo was in early talks to acquire Sohu.com’s Sogou.com search engine for around $1.4 billion.[12] In early 2015, Qihoo rebranded its so.com search engine to redirect to haosou.com. "Hao" in Chinese means good; Haosou directly translated to English means "good search engine".[13]

In December 2013, the company increased its stake in Brazilian Tech Company PSafe.[14][15]

On July 11, 2014, the company has set up a venture capital (VC) fund in Silicon Valley.[16]

On December 18, 2015, Qihoo 360 said it agreed to be acquired by a group of investors in a deal valued at about $9.3 billion.[17] On July 15, 2016, Qihoo 360 announced the finalization of its take-private transaction.[18]

On July 18, 2016, Qihoo 360 bought most of Opera Software for US$600 million.[19] On 4 November 2016 Golden Brick Capital (Qihoo included) completed the acquisition.[20]

In May 2020, Qihoo 360 was placed on the Bureau of Industry and Security's "Entity List" due to U.S. national security concerns.[21][22]



Qihoo has been described by Forbes as a confrontational and litigious company due to its involvement in various anti-competition lawsuits.[23]

The company was involved in lawsuits with Tencent,[23][24] starting with the 360 v. Tencent dispute, as well as other companies such as Baidu,[25] Emiage,[26] Sogou.[27]

Traffic data[edit]

The company has been accused by Anonymous of overstating the volume of traffic to its site in order to attract advertisers.[28]

Antivirus test results[edit]

The antivirus testing companies, AV-Comparatives of Austria, Germany's AV-Test and Virus Bulletin of the UK have accused Qihoo of providing for testing its anti-virus equipped with a Bitdefender engine, while the consumer version uses Qihoo's own QVM engine.[29][30]


According to documents released by the Mozilla Corporation in 2016, Qihoo appears to have acquired a controlling interest in the previously Israeli-run Certificate Authority "StartCom", through a chain of acquisitions, including the Chinese-owned company WoSign. WoSign also has a CA business; WoSign has been accused of poor control and misissuing certificates.[31] Furthermore, Mozilla alleges that WoSign and StartCom are in violation of their obligations as Certificate Authorities in respect of their failure to disclose the change in ownership of StartCom; Mozilla is threatening to take action, to protect their users.[32]

Google have stated that their Chrome product will no longer trust by default any certificates signed by StartCom or Wosign roots, starting with Chrome 61.[33] Mozilla have stated that their Firefox product will no longer trust by default any certificates signed by StartCom or WoSign roots, starting with Firefox version 58.[34]

Hidden backdoors[edit]

In 2012, a whistleblower reported a hidden backdoor in 360 Secure Browser. The Product Director of 360 Secure Browser, Tao Weihua, responded that "Whoever has a mind to beat a dog will always be able to find a stick" and accused the whistleblower of "smearing 360 on behalf of Baidu", which the whistleblower said was "the worst professional response in history". Independent analysis of the claim showed that the browser has an "undeclared mechanism (i.e., via ExtSmartWiz.dll) which connects to the server on a regular basis (e.g., every 5 minutes), and allows it to download files of any type (including executables) from the server."[35]

In October 2020, Mnemonic reported the existence of a backdoor affecting a line of children's watches under the Xplora brand manufactured by Qihoo.[36]

Samsung spyware[edit]

In January 2020, a Reddit user reported Qihoo's presence in Samsung mobile phones as a pre-installed storage cleaner in the device settings, from where it sends data packages to Chinese servers. The user could not identify which information is sent specifically, but the post was drawing enough attention to trend on Reddit's front page for a while.[37][38] Later Samsung representative declared that the only data sent back to Qihoo is generic information needed to optimize storage — specifically naming OS version, phone model, and storage capacity, among other data. Qihoo's main contribution is a reference library for identifying junk files, but that library is stored locally in the utility, and Qihoo never receives data that would allow it to identify a particular file on a user's device.[39]

Widespread streaming webcasts of security footage in China[edit]

In December 2017, the Chinese Government acted to curtail the widespread webcasting of live security-company-cameras, private webcams, and IP camera footage, voicing concerns of violations of privacy and portrait rights, sanctioning Qihoo.[40][41][42]


  1. ^ a b "2014 Annual Report". Qihoo. Archived from the original on 20 March 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  2. ^ "Tech Mogul Gets $13 Billion Richer Just by Leaving New York for China". Bloomberg.com. 2018-02-28. Retrieved 2018-02-28.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "CEO profile". Investing.businessweek.com. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  5. ^ "2012 Annual Report". Ir.360.cn. Archived from the original on 28 June 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Contact Us Archived 2011-04-05 at the Wayback Machine." Qihoo 360. Retrieved on May 11, 2016. "Address :Building #2, No. 6 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100015, China"
  7. ^ "360 Total Security: Free Antivirus Protection - Virus Scan & Removal for Windows, Mac and Android". 360 Total Security. Retrieved 10 August 2017.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Qihoo 360 Launches Battleship Phone". Techinasia.com. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  9. ^ "220,000 pre-order of the Battleship phone". Gsminsider.com. Retrieved 2017-08-10.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Qihoo market share". Marbridgeconsulting.com. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  11. ^ Hsu, Alex (18 Jul 2013). "Qihoo Launches New Search Engine Targeting Mobile Users". BrightWire News. Archived from the original on 18 July 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  12. ^ Reuters (19 July 2013). "Deals of the day -- mergers and acquisitions". Reuters.
  13. ^ "Qihoo 360 Re-brands Its Search Engine So.com To Haosou.com". TheDomains.com. 8 January 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  14. ^ "New York Times Dealbook: Qihoo Chinese Firm Increases Stake in Brazilian Tech Company". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  15. ^ "PSafe Official Website". Psafe.com. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  16. ^ Lizette Chapman (19 July 2013). "360 Joins Asian Companies Launching VC Groups in Silicon Valley". Wall Street Journal.
  17. ^ "Chinese tech company Qihoo 360 latest to be taken private". Reuters.com. 18 December 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2017 – via Reuters.
  18. ^ Ltd., Qihoo 360 Technology Co. "Qihoo 360 Announces Completion of Merger". Prnewswire.com. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  19. ^ Lunden, Ingrid. "Opera renegotiates its $1.2B sale down to $600M for its browsers, privacy apps, Chinese JV - TechCrunch". Techcrunch.com. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  20. ^ "Successful closing of the Transaction". Newsweb.no. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  21. ^ Shepardson, David; Freifeld, Karen (2020-05-23). "Dozens of Chinese companies added to U.S. blacklist in latest Beijing rebuke". Reuters. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  22. ^ McDonald, Joe (2020-05-25). "China Demands US Withdraw Sanctions on Tech Suppliers". Associated Press. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  23. ^ a b Custer, Charles (24 Feb 2014). "Qihoo 360 Loses In Court Again". Forbes Asia.
  24. ^ Kan, Michael (22 Nov 2010). "Chinese Internet Firms Forced to Apologize Over Privacy Spat". PCWorld.
  25. ^ Custer, Charles (5 Sep 2013). "Baidu sues Qihoo 360 for unfair competition, asks for $100k in compensation". Tech in Asia.
  26. ^ Custer, Charles (18 Oct 2014). "Oh, the irony: days after losing its own monopoly abuse suit, Qihoo is getting sued for monopoly abuse". Tech in Asia.
  27. ^ Custer, Charles (20 Jan 2015). "Qihoo 360 loses again in China's courts, ordered to pay Sogou $8.2 million for unfair competition". Tech in Asia.
  28. ^ Muncaster, Phil (3 Jul 2012). "China's internet wunderkind in the dock over alleged fraud". The Register.
  29. ^ Wan, Adrian (5 May 2015). "Qihoo cuts ties with three antivirus testing firms in software dispute". South China Morning Post.
  30. ^ Keizer, Gregg (1 May 2015). "Antivirus test labs call out Chinese security company as cheat". Computerworld.
  31. ^ Dan Goodin (27 September 2016). "Firefox ready to block certificate authority that threatened Web security". arstechnica.com. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  32. ^ "WoSign and StartCom". Google Docs. Mozilla Corp. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  33. ^ Osborne, Charlie. "Google guillotine falls on certificate authorities WoSign, StartCom - ZDNet".
  34. ^ "Mozilla to Completely Ban WoSign, StartCom Certificates in Firefox 58 - SecurityWeek.Com". www.securityweek.com.
  35. ^ Intelligence Defense Friends Laboratory (November 25, 2012). "Independent Report on Alledged [sic] "Hidden Backdoor" in Qihoo 360 Secure Browser" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 27, 2014. Retrieved 2017-06-21.
  36. ^ Claburn, Thomas (October 12, 2020). "Backdoorer the Xplora: Kids' smartwatches can secretly take pics, record audio on command by encrypted texts". The Register. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  37. ^ "r/Android - Chinese Spyware Pre-Installed on All Samsung Phones (& Tablets)". reddit. Retrieved 2020-01-07.
  38. ^ "Prevent Samsung's Shady 360 Storage Cleaner from Phoning Home to China". android.gadgethacks.com. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  39. ^ "Samsung's Device Care app is sending data back to China — but it's less scary than it sounds". theverge. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  40. ^ Zhang, Sarah. "A Creepy Website Is Streaming From 73,000 Private Security Cameras".
  41. ^ "China surveillance streaming platform shut down amid privacy concerns". 20 December 2017 – via Reuters.
  42. ^ "Privacy fears over online surveillance footage broadcasts in China".

External links[edit]