360 vs QQ, Internet security company picks fight with China’s NO. 1 software giant


(Sourced from Netease)Recently, two of China’s most successful .com companies take their long grudge towards each other to the public. One party is Tencent, whose instant messenger QQ enjoys 612.5 million active users. With such huge scale of user base and the convenient client software that come along, Tencent stretches into online game, news, e-commerce, e-mail, audio-visual etc. and crowns in most territories. The other party is 360, an Internet security service provider whose “360 safeguard” came to be China’s No.1 security software within the first year after launch, covering no less than 75% of China Internet users and thus becoming the second most popular desktop client software. Also capitalize on its 300 million clients base, 360 develops free anti-virus software, browser etc. and achieves success as well.

As Zhou Hongyi (周鸿祎) the founder of 360 puts it, Tencent and 360 are not competitors. So why is Tencent suing 360 for unfair competition and both calling names through desktop pop-ups?

Tencent suing 360 for unfair competition

The war:

Oct 11th, 360 released China’s first “privacy protection white paper” to account for its recent new software “360 privacy protector”. 4 hours later, Tencent declared in the name of “QQ product team” that 360 was discrediting QQ, and unprecedentedly push the message to its 100 million online QQ users through pop-outs. The fight leads to Tencent prosecuting 360 in form for unfair competition. In turn, 360 released 3 comments on the lawsuit, saying will begin countercharge Tencent for defaming 360 with pornography connection and blocking the downloading page of “360 privacy protector”.


QQ pop-up (upper) says:

“QQ Product Team’s official Statement: Recently one company launches privacy protector, framing QQ spying on users’ private files. We hereby asseverate that Tencent always values privacy protection, and never spys on users’ privacy. We urge users to keep clear mind to distinguish wrong from right, do not fall for one company’s security threatening trap.”

360 pop-up (lower one) says:

“360 Was Revenged upon by Tencent for Protecting User Privacy: Since 360 privacy protector exposed QQ’s suspicious spy on user privacy, 360 has been revenged upon by Tencent’s whole network pop-ups. Latest evidences show that QQ in the disguise of “Super blacklist” has been scanning users’ hard drives as a way to make huge profits.

Tencent’s thirst for profit is not limit to this. According to media exposure, Tencent CEO Ma Huateng (马化腾) is worth nearly 30 billion yuan, yet he still claims housing allowances.”


Tracing a few years back, we can see how one thing leads to another, and come to understand what the fuss is all about.

In late 2006, Tencent launched QQ Doctor 1.0, a small anti-Trojan tool to protect QQ user account. But as 360 grows into the country’s second popular desktop client, Tencent smells threat. 


Jan 21st, 2010, QQ Doctor 3.2 launched with an interface that assembles 360 safeguard. Meanwhile, it was giving out half-year free trial of Norton Anti-Virus. According to 360, QQ Doctor forced its way into approximately 100 million computers overnight, market share skyrocketed to 40% during the Spring Festival.


360 was sensitive enough to call back some of its employees on Spring Festival off to counter QQ’s sudden challenge. Soon, 360 Safeguard users was reminded that “the debug plugin installing by QQ Doctor bears danger, stopping installation is recommended.”

Due to 360’s quick reaction and QQ Doctor’s premature launch, many people uninstalled QQ Doctor, making its market share drop below 10%.

May 25th, 2010, founder of 360 Zhou Hongyi wrote over 40 posts on his own Netease Weibo (tweeter), telling the bitter story between 360 and Kingsoft (another anti-virus software). Pissed Kingsoft sued 360 who in turn crossed action. And ranting goes on and on between the two. Seeing the two fighting, Tencent captured the opportunity to secretly upgrade its QQ Doctor to 4.0 and switched its name to QQ Computer Keeper, which added all of 360’s popular functions such as cloud anti-Trojan, plugin clearer etc. The user experience it created was almost the same as that by 360.


During the mid-autumn festival break in September, many QQ users noticed that their QQ Software Manager and QQ Doctor were upgraded to QQ Computer Keeper without any reminder. Though there is no solid data to tell exactly how many installation/upgrade, the act is said to raise the market share of QQ Computer Keeper in scale.

Covering 360 Safeguard’s main functions such as security protection, system maintenance and software management etc.,  and with QQ’s unbeatable user base, the upgraded QQ Computer Keeper is believed to pose direct threat to 360’s survival in the field of Internet Security.

Again, sensitive 360 reacted immediately. On Sept 27th, 360 launched its Privacy Protector to go face to face against QQ by reminding users that “some” chatting software was spying on client system’s private files and data without consent. The Privacy Protector also claimed that it can monitor and expose such unethical behavior of QQ.

Pending result:

And that is how the war breaks out. 360 brings the issue of privacy to the public and successful triggers netizen’s concerns and panic about QQ client software. According to an online survey conducted by Netease, 60% out of 3140 netizens choose to uninstall QQ software first when QQ and 360 have conflicts living on their desktop. (The poll starts from Sept 27 till now.)

The war between 360 and Tencent QQ actually reflects the fierce competition to conquer user desktop. Tencent has 600 million loyal users, it wants to finish 360 through packaged installation; whereas 360 holds its “security” shield to undermine QQ’s loyalty base by using user’s fear. However, who wins the client terminal war is not very important to us users, all we hope for is peace for our desktop.

Comics made about the war from Renren:


“you steal”, “you lie”


“360, you  bastard! human scum! sick! you slander!”

“Whether defamation or not, we will know after I completely finish (examining). And also, I don’t deny that I am sick.”




“wait… wait, 360. you pervert! where are you examining!!!”



“Bastard! when did I claim housing allowances! you lie!”

“Didn’t you unite JS and BD to fight against me?”




Read more about this on ESWN

    1. This is China.

      Tencent is crap and not secure. Never had so many trojans, vira and worms as after my girlfriend installed QQ. My workplace doesn’t have any virus protection on ANY of it’s computers. My girlfriend’s cousin who is a web designer doesn’t have a firewall. I guess what I am trying to say is that if the world’s computer safety is bad overall, China’s is the 9th circle of hell.

      1. QQ’s person to person’s communication are encrypted, msn’s are not…
        I’m not advocating for QQ’s behavior but when there is credit it should be said.

      2. I’ve never had a virus, spyware, trojan, anything on my PC while using QQ.
        I’ve been using QQ software, even the Chinese version for over a year.

        Never had a problem.

        And I go to any website too.

    2. there are only so many good designs for shields. Notice that every single antivirus software company uses a shield of some form as logo. They are not competitors in the same field so I guess it doesn’t matter or can’t matter. Or maybe that Victorinox just didn’t care. Who knows.

    3. The other one is using the Penguin “Tux”, the Linux Mascot/Logo. 360 is a ripoff of Norton AV and QQ was an early ripoff of ICQ. It’s China. If it’s not copied from some foreign company, it can’t be good.

      1. bullshit, don’t speak like you are the designer, don’t speak unless you really use both of them, QQ is way better than ICQ.

        1. and 360 is a FREE anti virus, it does not designed for money, there is no copyright issure. the working principles and the codes are also different, where is the ripoff.

          it is funny when people see good Chinese products, they come up with the word “copy”. there are way more computer genius in China than any other countries in this world, i am sure they can make way better software.

          Copy? how about Facebook?

      2. lol, yeah, and half the world’s national flags uses only three colours (red blue white). I guess they’re all copycats. just saying.

      3. Its not a Copy,its call ‘Improving’,Like Jay said,360 is a free anti virus,how much you paid for your p.o.s anti virus?

      4. ICQ sucks, totally different look, feel, and all.
        However, QQ was from it. Not the copy of it.

  1. We are not afraid the fight between 360 and Tencent, what we fear is they often drink tea together. Nowadays at an era of repeated violations of privacy, a secure Internet not only requires more companies like 360 but also more like Tencent, and only when a balance is reached network security will not become a utopia without any foundation.

    1. Me too. And I already installed the 360 patch that prevents QQ’s spying actions.
      I hate QQ but I have to use it because too many friends are using it.

    2. I like these 2 softwares, but I don’t want any side to be absolutely No.1. If one company is No.1 long time, it will turn bad. So I like them to fight.

      Personally, I only use the basic tools from them, I don’t use all plus-software from them.

  2. The headline mentions QQ cheating the housing allowance, but details about it aren’t really mentioned in the article itself. But actually it’s kind of misleading because there was no cheating involved. It’s a legitimate (albeit ridiculous and wasteful) program in Shenzhen to offer incentives to high-level personnel. A number of top CEOs in Shenzhen, including QQ’s billionaire executive are receiving housing stipends. It is a paltry 3,000 yuan a month, but still, it would be better spent on the poor.


    “Ma Huateng, chairman of Hong Kong-listed Tencent, which owns qq.com, is among the beneficiaries of official housing subsidies and has been granted 3,100 yuan ($450) a month since July, despite the fact that Forbes estimates his wealth at $4.4 billion.

    Ma was recognized by the Shenzhen city government as a “local leading talent,” a title that will earn him 186,000 yuan ($27,796) in subsidies over the next five years.”

    1. actually I stand corrected. I guess it did mention the subsidies. It was just a really small part and I missed it as I only skimmed the article.

      1. I believe 30% of the 100 square meter apartment is payable immediately after the purchase, with the remainder paid out monthly over the 5 years.

  3. It would be nice to have a movie on how Tencent grown to today’s size and its unholy wars against numerous Internet rivalries – a style combined The Godfather and The Social Network.

  4. Slow news week? Key, bring out more controversial topics! Like, how the Chinese people view the recent Chinese professor advertisement.

  5. I use QQ – on my Mac. Why? It’s far more secure than its PC counterpart as everything needs to be approved by Apple and the system itself is inherently more secure.

    Once the wife installed QQ on an older PC, the Antivirus (Kaspersky maybe) caught half a dozen trojans INSTANTLY. Like, within seconds. That has to be some kind of record.

    Computers at our company are using 360 and QQ on their computers and they’re slow as hell, unreliabe, and constantly in disrepair. That and we pay four guys in the IT department to keep on top of this stuff. China is woefully behind when it comes to computer security. What can you do?

    Maybe that open source system China released a few years ago could be put to work – make something more stable and easily upgraded with frequent security patches. Oh, and don’t forget the backdoor so your local PSB fellows can take a look at what you’re doing!

    1. How is installing QQ making you get half a dozen trojans INSTANTLY?

      Why lie?
      The older PC has no factor.
      I installed QQ on a few computers, not a single trojan.
      If there were trojans, wouldn’t you think the 600mil users will be angry?

      You sound like the person who doesn’t know how to use a computer.

  6. actually, qq is a convenient im tool, but it covers so many things such as game (which ripoff from lianzong), so many things are copied, and this time it threats the existence of 360. so 360 must take some actions to fight back, this is interesting, coz this thing have never happened before, and qq plays such a sick role, qq doesnt conpatiate 360, will microsoft say the op can not run on mac? will pepesi say cola is will generate some chemical reaction when encouter pepsi?
    so this is bullshit, i wish 360 could suirvive and make itself stronger, defeat that huge pirates company.

  7. competition always exist in the world, however, the companies should not impair the users’ rights and interests. recently, the QQ announced that the users can not log in qq normally if they had installed 360 in their computers. what the QQ did has disappointed me. in my point of view, the QQ doesn’t care about their users, then, how can the QQ ask their users to support it???

    1. there’s lots of alternatives to 360–Norton, AVG, Kaspersky. I use AVG and Spayware Doctor.

  8. Tencent and 360, both of them are son of bitches. Non of them are good. 360 founder was a buster, but tencent is trying to kidnap China’s national net work. it does copy a lot from others

  9. For QQ and 360,I like 360 more . I support the 360.Because I always use the 360 to help me download something which is I want,and I can use it to kill the virus.What’s more ,I always use it to scan the website .And for QQ, I like it too.Because I can through it to get more friends and relax my breast.But it is a waste of time ,too. So,I support the 360.

    1. Wow, you’re an idiot.
      I’m not a Chinese.

      Did you know that many Chinese speak English? It isn’t new.
      Use your GD brain.

  10. As a foreigner in China for the last 7 years, I can tell you that I have CONSTANTLY been frustrated and annoyed with 360 software. I’ve always had to fight with my IT guys to remove it from computers and install MUCH better alternatives like kaspersky or AVG.

    When i first came to China, QQ was shit. However, the company and it’s products have become guided by increasing degrees of professionalism, ethics, and quality. There was a huge sift at Tencent starting about 2007.

    The result? Tencent has become an international company with overseas partnerships and 360 can’t get out of China.

    360 in my opinion has always used dirty tricks, blocks, spyware, etc. to stop me frommy normal web surfing. Meanwhile, Tencent QQ has addressed most of it’s quality problems. I use TM 2008 and QQ International Beta and am very happy with both. 360 was and remains crap.

    1. I should add that I use the English versions. They have fewer features, which i think makes them better.

  11. Whole argument is a joke.
    Only sheeple need to care.
    Windows sucks. (slow, unsafe and ugly and outdated)
    Just use Linux or Apple
    BTW you can use web.qq.com on any system.

  12. Qihoo accused Tencent of having weapons of mass destruction, so use armed combat and quickly established a puppet government instead of Tencent in the name of justice,and I see the masses condemned Tencent’s resistance,for its caused great damage to their self-interest. What a joke!

  13. Chinese Electromagnetic wave Weapon Victim Union, military spy equipment in electronic group’s right infringement recklessly; 中国电磁波武器受害者同盟,军用间谍设备在电子集团的肆意侵权

  14. tôi có phần mềm 360security desktop , nó có giao diện và những ứng dụng tiện lợi nhưng nó không có tiếng anh , chỉ có tiếng trung , ai có tiếng anh giúp tôi với

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