Baidu and Qihoo are not friends. The two competitors may have the most longstanding, bitter, and contentious relationship on China’s internet, and the enmity is not likely to be resolved with the latest development in this war: a lawsuit filed against Qihoo by Baidu for unfair competition.
The lawsuit, which asks for 650,000 RMB (about $104,000) in compensation, concerns Qihoo’s 360 Extreme Explorer browser. Baidu claims that on the browser’s bookmarks page, if users use the Baidu search engine and click on one of the pop-up popular search terms that appears below the search bar, they will be redirected to the relevant results on Qihoo’s search page rather than Baidu’s. When Tech in Asia tested the browser earlier this morning, it no longer appeared to have that functionality, but one imagines that Baidu would not bother bringing a lawsuit to the courts without some evidence that it used to be in effect.
The case is still in the initial court entry process, but it’s worth pointing out that Qihoo has an abysmal record in China’s courts. It has lost multiple cases to Tencent, and earlier this year it lost a separate case with Baidu and was forced to pay $72,000 in damages and issue a public apology.
As a side note, one can’t help but wonder if Google might also be interested in taking a look at Qihoo’s 360 Extreme Explorer browser. The app’s logo looks very similar to Chrome’s, and its official website URL is chrome.360.cn. It’s probably not the sort of thing that’s worth going to court over, but it certainly seems as though Qihoo doesn’t mind stealing a little thunder by “borrowing” competitors’ branding.
(Beijing Daily via TechWeb)