China’s MIIT has launched an inquiry into the corporate war between Tencent and Qihoo, and has warned of “stronger supervision” over the internet sector.
MIIT chief Li Yizhong said the two companies had hurt the interests of consumers while in the pursuit of profit and says the ministry was investigating the dispute to see who was to blame, Xinhua reported.
He said he would shortly report on the dispute to State Council and warned that the MIIT was planning further “rules and systems and stronger supervision” over internet firms.
The dispute erupted last week when Tencent, the company behind China’s most popular IM service, QQ, blocked users of Qihoo 360, the country’s most popular anti-virus software.
It appears to be stoking demand for rivals’ products. The number of new user sign-ups for Microsoft’s MSN Messenger, China’s second biggest IM service, has soared from tens of thousands daily to “millions” in recent days, a source toldWSJ.