Qihoo 360 finally unveiled the English version of its security products for PC and smartphones. Yes, they are for free, as Zhou Hongyi, CEO of Qihoo disclosed.

The company disrupted the Internet security market in China in late 2009 by offering everything for free. Now the company claims it has more than 90% a market share and covers roughly 70% of the smartphone security market.

For the sake of market share, other players in the sector, such as Kingsoft and Rising, later decided to stop charging users too. But they didn’t figured out other good revenue sources, while Qihoo built a strong business model. By channeling the security product users to its browsers, Qihoo started making money from ad placements on the default start-up pages and browser games (or web games). More recently, it launched its own search service, So.cn, in August last year and began monetization from early this year. Also taking advantage of its huge user base, So.cn has gained a 15% market share, according to CNZZ, an online data and analysis service.

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Tracey Xiang

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