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Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd. Message Board

  • scottyp515 scottyp515 Aug 26, 2013 5:21 AM Flag

    More Fraud info, this from Bloomberg...

    I quit investing in China years

    "Soon after Qihoo launched its search engine, Baidu appealed to China’s Internet regulator to keep Zhou’s company from searching Baidu’s online encyclopedia and other content. The friction is reminiscent of some of Zhou’s past battles. In 2006, Yahoo China, where he used to be CEO, sued Qihoo for unfair competition. A Beijing court ordered Qihoo to post a statement on its site retracting its allegations that Yahoo was distributing software that installs without users’ permission. Four years later, Zhou got into a dispute with Tencent over alleged anticompetitive practices regarding the rivals’ security software. Both companies have filed lawsuits in Chinese courts.

    Qihoo has critics outside of China as well. Muddy Waters, a research firm that has made headlines highlighting alleged accounting irregularities at Asian companies, on Jan. 24 posted a series of tweets citing reports of a Qihoo boycott by Internet users. The firm, founded by short-seller Carson Block, also wrote that challenges to Qihoo’s browser revenue and traffic claims made by investigation team Citron Research were “convincing.” Muddy Waters is echoing a “widespread smear campaign” launched by Qihoo’s rivals, the antivirus company’s Xu said in an e-mail.

    BLOG: What Google Searches About the Future Tell Us About the Present
    The same day as the Muddy Waters tweets, the Beijing Industrial and Commercial Administration Bureau, an agency that monitors industry in China, said on its website that it had issued Qihoo a warning about unfair use of its software. Xu says the warning is “very vague” and not unusual in China’s Internet business. Around the same time, Apple (AAPL) removed Qihoo’s apps from iTunes, according to Xu. Apple didn’t give a reason for the action, but it has done the same to other Chinese companies, he says. Apple didn’t respond to requests for comment.

    As Qihoo tries to rebut its critics, it also needs to win over a lot more users. It was relatively easy for Qihoo to get people who were already doing searches through its browser, since they didn’t have to change their behavior. Expanding beyond that will be a challenge. “How many precedents have you found globally of end-users switching their search engines?” asks Michael Clendenin, the founder and managing director of Shanghai-based RedTech Advisors. “They just don’t do it.” Zhou disagrees. Qihoo’s 10 percent of Chinese search traffic, he says, “is just the beginning.”

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