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Matt Berry
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Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MattBerry01 I'll be publishing on my blog from now on. I usually send my reports through a newsletter first. Join the mailing list at http://www.3footcrowbar.com/ Interests: -- reading up on bounded rationality, behaviorism, and philosophy -- writing... More
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The Mechanics of Virtue: A cynic's guide to righteous behavior
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  • Qihoo's Smartphone "AK47" Is Declared "Rubbish"

    [Return to "Table of Contents"]

    Reporters and Technical forums disassemble the Qihoo AK47 Smartphone and declare its workmanship to be "shoddy," its parts "rubbish," and spread photos through the internet news and blogs.

    All excerpts below, unless noted otherwise, were professionally translated.

    Title: "The 91 testing lab takes a look at 360-exclusive phones - The facts about the high quality-price ratio" (Google Translation, here; original, here)

    ZDNet News Source: 91 Mobile Entertainment

    Regarding Qihoo's branded phones:

    "The so-called high specifications are (in fact) no more than cheap compromises."
    "Take the popular Alcatel AK47 as an example. As early as the 27th June the media had rushed to be the first to publish pictures evaluating this disassembled 360-exclusive phone. The pictures demonstrated soldering techniques on the motherboard akin to those found in last century's mobile phones, meaning that the motherboards could be justly described as "cheap compromises" in the smartphone era."

    (click to enlarge)qihoo

    Caption: "Described by netizens as "a revival of 20th century hand-working technology""

    After the "Soldergate" jump-wires had been exposed on the AK47, some media editors ridiculed them and exposed pictures of "Soldergate" on micro-blogging sites, stating that "there's nothing special about jump-wires" and that such jump-wires could still be considered passable for use.

    Title: QIHU360 Branded Phone Is Accused of Using Inferior Motherboard, Suspected Intimated Production in Black Workshops

    The Google translator was less kind: "Qihoo 360 special phone accused of rubbish motherboard suspected black workshop foundry"(Google Translation, here; original, here.)

    Finally, the QIHU360 branded phone AK47 model arrived after rounds of speculations. The media reviewed this model before its official release. It is reported that the phone is equipped with a "dirty display" without a nano-coating. What is even worse is the release of the break-up evaluation image of AK47 model (TCL branded Alcatel OT986). The inferior motherboard is the biggest concern. It is suspected that AK47 model is a result of imitated production in workshops in Huaqiangbei. The model is attached a label of "jerry-built motherboard".

    "The image was first released on the Android Forum."

    [These three images were shown in this article]

    qihoo

    Qihoo

    Qihoo

    The following was clearly stated in a Qihoo conference call:

    "Coincidentally, Zhou Hongwei has made it clear that QIHU360 is not responsible for the quality and after-sale service which confirms that Zhou himself is not confident in the model. "
    "In countryside of Dongguan, products as shown in the figure above are made on a family workshop basis, using the primary welding technology and motherboard scrap screened in scrap yard or garbage collection."
    "Branded makers are not courageous to use such "jerry-built motherboard", among which, the quality is the first and utmost concern. It is self evident that such issues as battery explosion, crash or others resulting from the inferior motherboard prove a damage to phone makers."

    Professional translation below to be compared to immediately following good translation:

    "QIHU360 branded phone is the recipient of wide criticism due to its "jerry-built motherboard". Its AK47 model is the biggest concern in microblogs. It is estimated that the cost is less than 700 Yuan since intimated production is based on cheap and low-end components including inferior displays. Such phones are sold at 1699 Yuan while Zhou himself claims that it is sold at "no margin".

    [I'm getting feedback on the translation "intimated production" - it may be a typo related to translation "imitated production" above. I will post the reply or (hopefully) substitute this expression with a better translation. I believe the Chinese Characters in question were translated by Google as "black workshop foundry." See next paragraph.]

    Google translation of the above paragraph:

    "Qihoo 360 special phone this "jerry-board mobile phone has received continuous users of Tucao the microblogging AK47's Tucao formation of hot spots, black workshop foundry as well as poor quality screen, and other low-end inexpensive accessories, the media pointed out that its cost is less than 700 yuan, while Qihoo 360 special for the machine is priced at 1699 yuan, Zhou claimed that his own special for the machine to "zero profit"."

    [Return to "Table of Contents"]

    Disclosure: I am short QIHU.

    Aug 01 10:37 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Qihoo Accused Of False Advertising

    [Back to "Table of Contents"]

    This article appeared on ZDNet.com.cn and elsewhere.

    Title and excerpts were professionally translated.

    Title: "The 91 testing lab takes a look at 360-exclusive phones - The facts about the high quality-price ratio" (Google Translation, here; original, here)

    "Again, taking the Haier W910 announced the other day as an example, Zhou Hongyi bombastically claimed that this phone, Haier's "super-battleship", had 8 million pixels. However, after evaluation tests, there were in fact only 7.7 million pixels; this begs the question, where did the other 300,000 pixels go?"

    This image accompanied the text and was widely published across the web.

    false advertising and Qihoo 7.7

    "Then another netizen discovered to his astonishment that this so-called 8 million pixel camera phone in fact only had 5 million pixels, a figure much diminished from the figure given in evaluation tests by the media. "

    This image was also widely published across the web in association with this story.

    (click to enlarge)Qihoo ad false advertising 800

    Another sharp ending:

    "This sort of repeated deception of users at large has once again turned Zhou Hongyi into an "expert liar" in the minds of the public."

    [Back to "Table of Contents"]

    Disclosure: I am short QIHU.

    Aug 01 9:20 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Qihoo --the Security Software Company -- Accused Of Leaking Users' Private Information

    [back to "Table of contents"]

    Several articles carried this.

    • Title: A Probe into the Malicious Chargeback Associated with QIHU 360 Tools: User Information Leaked: Google Translation, here; original, here. Professional translation below:
    "Recently, the vulnerability in the Android OS revealed the large-scale malfunction of Alipay accounts to which QIHU360 turned a deaf ear. According to Cloud Dataset, in the Android OS, data saved in SD card is accessed as a plain text, which proves a significant safety risk. Users installed with QIHU360 or other malwares are exposed to a highly possible leakage of user information."

    This article includes a stinging conclusion:

    "Zhou Hongwei gets himself involved in mobile Internet in a rush way and feels proud of its model which goes like this: users are charged for traffic and ad bills through embedded software in phones. A phone with such embedment works in the same way as PC with a "backdoor", which offers a sound ground why credit card information is uploaded without users' knowledge. The recently frequently occurred online shopping security incidents are attributable to the same cause, or the risk of information leakage associated with QIHU360 tools."
    • This excerpt was taken from a related article on Xiaomi and found on People.com.cn: Google Translation, here; original, here. Professional translation below:
    "… Qihoo 360 security protocols exposed user information by uploading it to the server, allowing Google and other search engines to crawl through them. This led to hackers taking advantage of the information, leading to an explosion of a wide range of security issues like credit card charges, PayPal account abnormalities, etc. This has led to a high level of social concern for user privacy."

    Title: Reported That QI HU360 Exploits the Vulnerability in Android-Based Phone for Chargeback: Google Translation, here; original, here.

    This article details a widely published micro-blog, which still appears in recent articles illustrating the problem.

    "Last month, a microblog user said that there was a malicious outward transaction of his credit card due to an installed password vault on its phone. According to the user, his phone is WP7 based, with an installation of 360 Password Vault. It is believed that user information has been automatically uploaded, leading to a charge of $40 of its credit card."

    the microblog user image below:

    (click to enlarge)microblogger accuses qihoo of 40 dollar charge to card

    Translation of the microblog:

    @Brother Lin Shi @Numbers Tail @WP7 Global Gathering @WP7 Micro-fans Network, confirmation needed!!! Could you all please help me to confirm whether WP's app <<360 Passwords Safe>> has within its software code any malicious code for uploading user information? Because my Business Credit Card was debited just now at 21:30 for 40 US Dollars by someone!! It's US Dollars!! I've never revealed to anyone my password information, except for this purpose (the app)...I would not spend US Dollars! :(

    Text continues:

    "According to an expert, the leakage of log in credential is to be blamed for the charge of its CMB credit card. No other security application except 360 Password Vault was installed on the phone. In other word, the user information has been intentionally uploaded by the tool. Such user information based profit model is often called as 'backdoor'."

    The article ends with a reminder a charge made years back by "Rising" security software

    "As early as 2010, Rising revealed the "backdoor" in the tools of QIHU360. The codes have been verified by professionals in the industry, witnessing the existence of backdoors in its tools."

    To this day Rising still accuses Qihoo of having planted "backdoors" in its software. (Here)

    [back to "Table of contents"]

    Disclosure: I am short QIHU.

    Aug 01 8:47 PM | Link | Comment!
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