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Qihoo 360: A Victim Of A Smear Campaign Or An Aggressor Caught Red-handed? (… Or Both?)

|Includes:QIHOO 360 Technology Co. Ltd. (QIHU)

News on Qihoo 360 over these past two months has been fast and furious.

In the last two months, from the most recent accusations:

  • Qihoo fakes a Microsoft patch to install its own browser and disable rival browsers. (click here for more detail)

I've spent the last two weeks on this (fake Microsoft patch) and have found conclusive evidence (besides the widely published articles) that Qihoo did indeed counterfeit a security patch.

  • Qihoo loses Smartphone partner due to recent slate of bad press, (click here for more detail).

Con: I found two articles suggesting that the deal is ongoing.

Pro: Articles appeared in the press with supposedly inside staff members declaring the deal to be off due to events outlined below.

  • Qihoo accused of leaving users vulnerable to leakage of personal info. (Click here for more detail)

Con: Qihoo CEO says he's being smeared.

Pro: "Dark Clouds" Android system forum declares that Qihoo's software was vulnerable to such a leakage.

  • Qihoo accused of false advertising RE: its Smartphone.(Click here for more details)

Con: Not significant, phone is apparently being sold

Pro: Widely published, with photos purporting to show the offense.

  • Qihoo's smartphone "AK47" is declared "Rubbish" (Click here fr more details)

Con: Not significant. It was a "cheap phone" anyway and it's not a core business segment.

Pro: Widely published photos damage Qihoo's reputation anyway.

Disclosure: I am short QIHU.

Additional disclosure: I am long MSFT, but not for reasons outlined here.

Stocks: QIHU