Chinese Internet company Qihoo 360 announced it would take controlling stake in MediaV, a Chinese digital advertising service. Yang Jiongwei, CEO of MediaV, told local media that Qihoo bought 60% of the company for more than $100 million.

MediaV, founded in 2009, is known for helping online retailers or other digital advertisers track and improve advertising performance.

The case may be confusing to many who see Qihoo 360 as a free Internet security and browser service provider. The company actually started monetizing its huge user base, gained with the free Internet security product, through text link ads on the landing page of its web browsers.

Back in 2011 advertising spend from e-commerce sites accounted for 50% of Qihoo’s total revenues and Taobao retailers contributed 10% -15%.

In 2013, 62% of Qihoo’s total revenues were from advertising. An 88% growth than the previous year, according to the company, was “primarily driven by increased monetization of user activities on the 360 Personalized Start-up Pages and incremental contribution from search and mobile advertising”.

Qihoo began monetizing the search engine which gained about 20% of China search market only one year after its launch from early 2013. But as the term the company used that the revenue from that was “incremental” by the end of the year.

It is believed Qihoo will use MediaV’s Demand Side Platform (DSP) to improve the performance of display ads in the 360 browser ecosystem.

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at

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