Tencent, Qihoo 360 meet in court over unfair competition

Court session drags for entire day with no decision, with presiding judge saying Tencent might need to bring witnesses to elaborate on how they came up with the case to sue for US$19.7 million in damages.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

Chinese Internet company Tencent is suing software company Qihoo 360 for unfair competition over an incident in 2010 and is asking for 125 million yuan (US$19.7 million) in compensation.

The case finally went to the Guangdong High Court on Tuesday, with Tencent claiming that Qihoo 360's release of "KouKou Bodyguard" security software in 2010 targeted and made modifications to its QQ instant-messaging software--causing the Internet company to lose income from its value-added services and advertisements, reported Sohu IT.

On Oct. 29, 2010, Qihoo 360 offered "KouKou Bodyguard" security software on its Web site, saying it will help users remove value-added services and advertisements included in QQ to speed up the instant-messaging software.

Qihoo 360 had reportedly released the software, as part of retaliation against Tencent, which had muscled into Qihoo's antivirus territory, through the bundling of its own antivirus software with the popular QQ client. The incident escalated in November when Tencent stopped QQ from running on computers installed with Qihoo 360 software--forcing consumers to pick sides.

Tencent's legal representatives said Qihoo 360's "KouKou Bodyguard" modified QQ and caused damage to the "integrity and security" of the product. However, Qihoo 360's lawyers denied the charges, saying while "KouKou Bodyguard" software hid QQ's advertisements and value-added service, it did not affect QQ client's integrity.

The session in court started from 9.30am and lasted till 6pm with a lunchbreak, according to the article. No decision was reached, with the presiding judge saying Tencent might need to bring witnesses to elaborate on how they came up with its case, noted Sina Tech.

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