Bloomberg News

Qihoo Says Mobile Apps to Return to Apple Store This Week

February 07, 2012

(Updates with comment from company in seventh paragraph.)

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Qihoo 360 Technology Co., a Chinese developer of security software, said Apple Inc.’s App Store will make its mobile applications available this week, days after pulling the products because of “abnormal” user ratings.

Apple won’t require Qihoo to make modifications to the mobile apps before returning them to the App Store, the Chinese company said in an e-mailed statement today. The apps were removed last week after Apple found unusual patterns of user feedback both in favor of, and against the software, Qihoo said, without elaborating.

Qihoo fell the most in a month in New York trading yesterday after the withdrawal of the products by Apple, which quadrupled revenue in China last fiscal year on demand for products including the iPhone and iPad. Owners of Apple-made devices account for about 5 percent of users who access Qihoo’s services wirelessly, according to an estimate by Nancy Yang, an analyst in Hong Kong at Mirae Asset Securities Co.

A greater proportion of Qihoo subscribers use phones running Google Inc.’s Android and Nokia Oyj’s Symbian systems than use Apple products, Yang said yesterday.

Carolyn Wu, a Beijing-based spokeswoman at Apple, didn’t immediately respond to messages sent by phone and e-mail seeking comment.

Shares of Qihoo declined 6.1 percent to $17.89 yesterday in New York, the most since Jan. 4. The Beijing-based company’s stock has advanced 14 percent this year.

‘Negative Comments’

Qihoo said it will begin legal action against Kingsoft Network for “unverified, negative comments” against Qihoo. Material about alleged infringement of user privacy by Qihoo was circulating on the Internet, Qihoo said.

Qihoo also said it sent a letter to Tencent Holdings Ltd. requesting the removal of “defamatory” content.

Michelle Feng Harnett, a Beijing-based spokeswoman at Kingsoft, said she couldn’t immediately comment on the matter when reached on her mobile phone today. Qihoo’s action “interfered with the media’s right to report,” Tencent said in a statement on its microblogging site today.

--Editors: Dave McCombs, Terje Langeland

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Lee in Hong Kong at wlee37@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net


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