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China's Internet gorillas fight

New Express, October 29, 2010

Chinese malware remover provider 360 had been in feud with other Internet juggernauts including Tencent, Baidu and Kingsoft. Their war was escalated when 360 singled out Tencent and accused it of secretly spying on competitors through its QQ, the most popular instant messenger application among Mainland internet users.

According to today's New Express:

360 announced yesterday, based on its monitoring using Microsoft's Process Monitor and its own 360 Privacy Protector, QQ, China's biggest instant messenger, had been using abnormal methods to scan users' hard drives.

Qi Xiangdong, director of 360 said that he was very shocked. "I have never heard that such method was used for security purpose or any other purposes. It is totally different from what legitimate anti-virus softwares do to search for trojans and viruses."

Qi believed that Tencent was trying to collect information on competitors based on 360's discovery of a "blacklist" consisting multiple Internet companies that were purportedly targeted by Tencent's sinister scan. Qi suggested that Tencent might use the information it gathered to develop their own ripoffs modeled on their competitor's existing products, bundle them up with its QQ and force users to accept the pirated versions. Qi also criticized Tencent's violation of users' right to know for not notifying users or allowing them to activate or terminate the process at their own will.

On an slightly ironic note, on the "watched list" are some of Tencent's allies such as Baidu and Kingsoft, who had just issued a collective declaration with Tencent, railing against 360 for "illegal competition".

In the big image, China's vice president Xi Jinping, who was named the new vice-chair of the Central Military Commission, was shaking hands with a delegation from PLA National Defense University following the footsteps of President Hu Jintao.

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