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Qihoo 360 enters workplace collaboration market with FangCloud acquisition

Qihoo 360’s entry to the office app market is in line with its plan to explore the government-and-enterprise-level online security market.

Work from home. Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash Work from home. Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash

Chinese cybersecurity giant Qihoo 360 has acquired an enterprise collaboration service provider named FangCloud, in a step into the booming workplace collaboration market, the company announced on Tuesday.

After the acquisition is completed, FangCloud will operate independently, with its products as a supplement to Qihoo 360’s cloud-based storage solutions, said the cybersecurity giant, adding that the two parties will integrate their products and solutions for enterprises to have robust work collaboration and file storage tools while ensuring the safety of the services. Neither company discloses the value of the acquisition.

Founded in 2013, FangCloud provides enterprises with file management and collaboration services such as centralized storage and management of large files, multi-level user access control, and top-notch data security for enterprises. It has offered services to more than 250,000 enterprise clients covering industries including education, real estate, retail, and manufacturing, with an annual compound growth rate of nearly 200%, said the company.

Prior to the acquisition, FangCloud has secured USD 10 million in Series B financing from JD Cloud and JD Digits in October 2018. Other existing investors of the firm include Matrix Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and UMC Capital. FangCloud has also reached a strategic partnership with Alibaba’s cloud computing unit on smart data and data security in 2016.

Qihoo 360’s entry to the market of enterprise collaboration tools is in line with its plan to explore the government-and-enterprise-level online security market. The company’s founder, Zhou Hongyi, announced in an internal letter in April 2019 that Qihoo 360 aims to invest in 50 or even more than 100 cyberspace security startups in the government-and-enterprise-level security sector, and also hopes to bring 10 out of them to the capital market.

Since the end of the Chinese New Year holiday, more than 18 million companies have asked their employees to work from home due to the coronavirus outbreak. The number of telecommuters in China has exceeded 300 million, according to market research firm iiMedia.

While the market saw unprecedented growth on the back of the coronavirus outbreak, concerns regarding security and data privacy were also raised. Video conferencing app Zoom has faced backlashes as privacy flaws were spotted in Zoom’s application, which could lead to personal data leaks and violation of privacy.