360 Security Technology founder Zhou Hongyi said Monday that the company, which is famous for offering individuals free anti-virus software, will explore the government-and-enterprise-level online security market, reported Tencent’s online news portal QQ.com.
According to the report based on an email Zhou Hongyi circulated internally, the company will try to invest in 50 or even more than 100 cyberspace security startups in this area, and also hopes to bring 10 out of them to the capital market.
Zhou delisted his online security firm Qihoo 360 Technology from the New York Stock Exchange and merged it into a shell company in China as the country tightened policies to ensure cybersecurity sovereignty.
The new company 360 Security Technology Inc began trading in Shanghai in February 2018.
Zhou’s remarks on foraying into the government-and-enterprise-level security business came after the company announced plans to sell its stake in Qi’anxin, which focuses on enterprise-level security business and is part of 360’s security empire.
Zhou explained that without this offload, Qi’anxin could not be listed in China’s stock markets as it would have lacked independence. He added that the sale will return nearly RMB 4 billion (USD 596 million), making the investment a very successful case.
“It took us three years to prove that investment is a viable way. Through granting our brand, our technologies, and our data, along with funds and other resources, we could grow a public company from nothing,” said Zhou.
He added that 360 could foster more companies like Qi’anxin to offer the market better service.
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