Qihoo, the Chinese Internet company who is most known for offering free security services, released an “anti-phishing, anti-Trojan”router by partnering with Shenzhen-based router manufacturer Netcore.

Named NI360, the router will be sold at 99 yuan ($ 16), cheaper than the average router in the market, on Qihoo’s shopping site. Apart from anti-malware, the router provides stronger wireless data encryption, Qihoo claims.

Last week Qihoo unveiled a plug-and-play wireless router. It is reported that the gadget is designed by Qihoo’s 360 Mobile Assistant team and manufactured by a third party.

Last year Qihoo came up with a strategy on hardware that partnered with manufacturers to sell smartphones to its massive users. In that case some manufacturers agreed to call certain models of theirs something like “phones for Qihoo users”, but Qihoo itself didn’t have to do anything.

The smartphone strategy didn’t work out. The launch of the routers looks like that Qihoo is taking another approach. Local media speculate that the router is considered another gateway where Qihoo can gain and control users.

Update: It is reported that Qihoo is working on a search service called Leidian where all kinds of mobile apps and services will be available and can be installed into users’ mobile devices through Qihoo routers (source in Chinese).

image credit: Qihoo

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com

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