Qi­hoo 360 di­als into govt mar­ket

New prod­uct fea­tures data pro­tec­tion, move to tap of­fi­cial de­mand for se­cure de­vices

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By MASI masi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China’s big­gest in­ter­net se­cu­rity com­pa­nyQi­hoo 360 Tech­nol­ogy Co Ltd un­veiled a new phone fea­tur­ing data pro­tec­tion on Tues­day, in a move to meet the grow­ing de­mand by gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and busi­ness peo­ple for in­for­ma­tion se­cu­rity.

The­moveis part of the Bei­jing-based group’s broad ef­forts to tap into the gov­ern­ment in­ter­net se­cu­rity mar­ket, as a ris­ing con­cern over na­tional se­cu­rity prompts gov­ern­ments and State-en­ter­prises to em­brace do­mes­tic IT prod­ucts.

Qi­hoo CEO and Chair­man Zhou Hongyi said the new phone, priced from 1,999 yuan ($300), is equipped with two op­er­at­ing sys­tems, with one de­signed as a pri­vate sys­tem where all in­for­ma­tion is es­pe­cially en­crypted.

“The new de­vice is de­signed for po­lit­i­cal, mil­i­tary and com­mer­cial of­fi­cials who have to store con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion on their de­vices,” Zhou said.

The new de­vice, named Q5, en­ables users to make en­crypted calls, which will be im­pos­si­ble to be hacked and can block re­ceivers from record­ing the con­ver­sa­tions, the com­pany said.

Founded in 2005, Qi­hoo is well known for its anti-virus soft­ware, web browser and mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion store busi­ness in China.

The move came shortly af­ter Qi­hoo was de listed from the New York Stock Ex­change, in a move to free it up to pounce at an “un­prece­dented” op­por­tu­nity brought by China’s mount­ing em­pha­sis on cy­ber­se­cu­rity.

Ac­cord­ing to Zhou, the com­pany will soon be­come en­tirely funded by do­mes­tic in­vestors, which will give it a purely do­mes­tic iden­tity to ex­pand its pres­ence in the mil­i­tary and gov­ern­ment pro­cure­ment mar­ket.

“We al­ready started serv­ing some mil­i­tary depart­ments. We would not have se­cured the deal, if we were a for­eign­cap­i­tal backed com­pany,” Zhou said, ad­ding cur­rently the com­pany’s clients also in­clude gov­ern­ments, fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions and na­tional de­fense re­search cen­ters.

Jin Di, re­search man­ager at the re­search firm In­ter­na­tional Data Corp China, said smart­phones pro­cured by the gov­ern­ment depart­ments can reach sev­eral mil­lion to 10 mil­lion units ev­ery year.

“Qi­hoo’s years of ex­pe­ri­ence in in­ter­net se­cu­rity ser­vices and its abun­dant col­lec­tion of patents can give the com­pany an edge,” Jin said.

Qi­hoo said it ac­counts for 32 per­cent of in­ter­net se­cu­rity-re­lated patent ap­pli­ca­tions in China.

“But it is not easy for the com­pany to en­ter into the gov­ern­ment pro­cure mar­ket by start­ing with smart­phones, be­cause it has to com­pete with more es­tab­lished play­ers such as Huawei Tech­nolo­gies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp,” Jin added.

$300 ba­sic price of Qi­hoo 360’s new phone fea­tur­ing data pro­tec­tion

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Qi­hoo CEO Zhou Hongyi at the re­lease of the com­pany’s new phone on Tues­day in Bei­jing.

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