Qihoo 360, the Chinese online security and Internet service provider, announced yesterday to merge 360 Smart Button, the Pressy-like Android button developed by the company, and Quick Button, another Android button Qihoo reportedly has invested in, and give them away for free. Some one million buttons have been given away to college students since mid-August, according to the company.

It reflects the theory of Zhou Hongyi, CEO of Qihoo, that you’ll figure out monetization sooner or later so long as you have a large user base. And the best way to gain users is offering quality products for free. Qihoo has successfully monetized its user base obtained through its free security service.

When it comes to smart hardware, Mr. Zhou once commented that hardware products should be sold at cost and profits will come along with software.

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

What you get

Full access to all premium content and our full archives

Members'-only newsletters

Preferential access and discounts to all TechNode events

Direct access to the TechNode newsroom

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

Tracey Xiang

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