The relationship between 360 and Tencent has been long and bitter, full of deception, bickering, accusations… and court filings.
Their war/cat fight goes back to 2010, when the two companies each informed their users that their rival’s security software did not protect their privacy. Qihoo 360 accused Tencent’s QQ Doctor of scanning users’ computers for private data, and released a privacy guard software to monitor QQ’s spying activities. The tension escalated when Tencent responded by asking its users to uninstall 360 Safeguard, claiming that 360 caused QQ to malfunction. Shortly after, Tencent sued Qihoo 360 for unfair competition. Qihoo 360 sued Tencent the same year for violating anti-monopoly laws.
In April, 2012, a hearing was held in the Guangdong High People’s Court. Qihoo 360 accused Tencent of abusing its market dominance by introducing bundled sales. Tencent argued that bundling sales was designed to protect Tencent’s intellectual property rights, and urged the court to turn down Qihoo’s charges. The hearing was adjourned after over 8 hours of heated debates.
Last week, Guangdong High People’s Court made the long-awaited ruling, and turned down all the charges from Qihoo 360 against Tencent. Qihoo 360 was ordered to pay 790,000 RMB. Their lawyer noted that they will decide whether to appeal after consulting with the company.