Competition between Internet security service provider Qihoo and Kingsoft Network (not official translation), a subsidiary of Chinese veteran tech company Kingsoft, intensified after Keniu was merged into Kingsoft’s anti-virus business in late 2010. Keniu, founded by former Qihoo exec Fu Sheng, started from photo editing software but, eventually, settled on Internet security before it became a Kingsoft company.

Three years later, Qihoo now is dominating in online/mobile security, web browser, and mobile app distribution in China, and a US-listed company that defeated short sellers with a working business model. In the meantime, a bunch of traditional Internet security companies in China were wiped out by Qihoo’s free-of-charge strategy and efficient marketing practices.

Kingsoft Network adopted a similar business model to Qihoo’s to survive with free offerings. At the same time, according to its CEO Fu Sheng, the company decided to focus on anti-virus rather than a Qihoo 360 Safety Guard-style product to avoid head-on collision. Kingsoft Network claims it has been catching up from with one tenth of Qihoo’s user base to currently one third.

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Tracey Xiang

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