BEIJING - China will implement a new regulation to further control the online industry after a dispute between two Chinese Internet giants, Tencent and Qihoo 360, caused harm to their users, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said Wednesday.
Zhang Feng, director of the ministry's Department of Communications Development, made the announcement at a press conference concerning China's first-quarter industrial operations.
"We have finishing soliciting opinions for the new regulation and will publish it soon," Zhang said.
The move is part of a bid to strengthen the management of the country's online market and promote the healthy and orderly development of the industry, he said.
Zhang said the ministry is also working on an online industry development plan to be implemented during the country's 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015).
Tencent, China's largest Internet company, said on Nov 3, 2010 that it would remotely disable the QQ instant-messaging service on computers that had security software designed by Qihoo 360 installed on them. The announcement was the result of a previous dispute between the companies.
Unfair competitive practices between the two companies, especially the move to unilaterally shut down the instant-messaging service, affected users and caused "bad social consequences," according to a MIIT statement.
Tencent has 600 million registered QQ users, while Qihoo 360, China's largest free anti-virus software provider, has 300 million clients.