Analysis of the the Anti-monopoly Case Filed by 360 Against Tencent, I

(By Luo Yanjie) Starting today, we will have three posts introducing the decision in China’s most closely followed anti-monopoly case. Today’s post will first introduce the facts of the case. Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd. (NYSE: QIHU) (“Qihoo”) is a company whose primary business is security software. In October of 2010, Qihoo released software named “360 Privacy Protector,” which was claimed to prevent QQ, the instant messenger of Tencent Holdings Limited (SEHK: 700) (“Tencent”), from uploading the user’s personal information. Tencent issued a notice to its users, demanding that users who installed QQ not install any of Qihoo’s software. At the same time it took technical steps to check the computers for any Qihoo’s software. If any Qihoo software was found, the user was not allowed to sign in to QQ. This led to a large dispute on the Internet in China. After the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (the “MIIT”) intervened, Qihoo recalled its 360 Privacy Protector, and Tencent revoked its regulation prohibiting QQ users from using Qihoo.