Victorious Yahoo China Spurns Qihoo Search Engine

Yahoo China emerged victorious in a lawsuit it filed against a search engine operator working locally, on charges of unfair competition, said Alibaba.com, owner of Yahoo China, on December 21 2006.

Alibaba further said that the Second Intermediate Court of Beijing has ruled that the operator of Qihoo search engine, Beijing SanjiWuxian Internet Technology must bring a halt to its unfair competitive practices and also compensate Yahoo China for damages and legal expenses.

Yahoo China had brought the charges against Qihoo.com because it used software that instructed users to uninstall the Yahoo toolbar because it posed danger, said Yahoo China in a statement via e-mail.

As per the main issue in the complaint, the court ordered Sanji Wuxin to disable its '360 Safeguard' software from asking users to uninstall Yahoo Assistant, an Internet browser tool.

360 Safeguard appeared on the scene in late July. Since then about 12 million Web surfers have downloaded the product because they thought it would eliminate malicious software such as adware and spyware. 360 Safeguard characterizes Yahoo Assistant as malware because it has involuntary installation features that are difficult to erase.

According to Yahoo China, 360 Safeguard misled Web users and injured its reputation. Yahoo China considers the software a malicious item because it would uninstall Yahoo Assistant even if users didn't want it that way.

Qihoo.com said in a statement that while the court has confirmed Yahoo Assistant to be malware, due to lack of related laws it couldn't judge that the software belongs in to that category.

Yahoo Toolbar adds on to the features of Internet Explorer. It enables easy search and provides links to other services of the Internet Company. It also has security features that stop spyware and pop-up ads.

Zhou Hongyi, an ex-employee of Yahoo runs Qihoo, which he started shortly after quitting his job following the announcement that Alibaba would become the owner of Yahoo China.

These two companies have visited the court earlier too. Qihoo had sued Yahoo China on charges of defamation. Both Zhou and Jack Ma, Alibaba's founder, are known to be outspoken business persons in China.

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