Business / Technology

Qihoo founder pins hopes on pamphlet

By Gao Yuan (China Daily) Updated: 2015-08-27 11:15

Latest offering will stand 'head and shoulders' above competition, insists Zhou Hongyi

Internet magnate Zhou Hongyi threw his hat into the crowded Chinese smartphone market on Wednesday with a premium "pamphlet", that he claims would stand head and shoulders above all competitors.

Zhou, the co-founder of China's largest Internet security company Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd, said the 3,599-yuan ($562) device has the best data safety features that will easily beat all the smartphones on the market - including Apple Inc's iPhone 6 Plus, which is selling at 6,088 yuan.

"Information security is what we have been doing for decades, and no other manufacturer can surpass us," Zhou said.

The phone, named Qiku, can automatically block malicious applications and fraud calls. The features can win applauses from Chinese users who have been bothered by technology-savvy conmen.

The company said although Xiaomi and other vendors also introduced personal data protection functions, the Qiku phone can detect more than 80 million fraudulent phone numbers, the most compared to rivals.

The unique design of the device is the dual camera setup on the back. The lens helps capture brighter and higher-quality photos compared to the single-camera iPhone 6 Plus, the company said.

Qiku also released two lower-end smartphones, targeting the 2,500-yuan and 1,000-yuan markets.

Zhou dismissed earlier reports that his company was planning to buy Taiwan-based vendor HTC Corp's smartphone plant in Shanghai.

Wang Jingwen, an analyst at research firm Canalys China, said several local companies and original equipment manufacturers are keen on taking over HTC's assets to boost manufacturing capabilities.

Qihoo 360 joined hands with contract phone maker Coolpad Group Ltd for development of handsets.

Though Zhou did not give the exact sales targets for the devices, the highest-priced phone is pitted against the likes of Huawei Technology Co Ltd's flagship model and high-end models from Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

With China's smartphone demand passing its peak, a new comer like Qiku may need extra efforts to attract customers.

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