Critics have attributed Qihoo's claim of share dominance to shady practices, including making it difficult to uninstall the browser, overtly trying to convince users not to make an alternate browser the device's default, and evidence that removing 360 Safe Browser often cripples Internet connectivity.
Today, Qihoo took to Facebook to rebut the cheating charges, although it did not directly address the labs' claim that Qihoo switched AV engines.
"We believe the accusation and subsequent action ... is without merit," Qihoo said, then launched into a long discussion of why the Chinese security market was different from those in the West, making the tests inherently unfair.
"For example, many popular software add-ons in China that are flagged as malware by [the labs] are in fact performing proper functions and not malicious," Qihoo said. "A security product that strictly follows [the labs'] testing environment rule[s] could be rendered useless in China due to the significantly different real-world environment.
"As a result of our efforts, China has become the safest Internet environment in terms of the malware infection ratio, according to a Microsoft study," Qihoo concluded. "We certainly intend to continue to do so with or without lab testing scores."
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