Chinese firms join cyber security forum in U.S.

2015-04-23 09:33Xinhua Editor: Gu Liping

A number of top Chinese information security firms are in San Francisco to present their products and services to an American crowd.

The vendors, some of them here for the first time at the annual RSA Conference, arguably the largest cybersecurity forum in the world, have brought a visible influx of Chinese speakers to part of downtown San Francisco on the U.S. west coast.

Xiangdong Qi, president of Qihoo 360 Technology, a company headquartered in Beijing and listed on the New York Stock Exchange, was at his company's booth in an exhibition area on Tuesday to receive an award from Andreas Marx, chief executive officer of AV- Test GmbH.

The award by AV-Test, an independent institute in Germany, recognizes 360 AntiVirus as the best in 2014 on the Android platform.

Qi, a first-timer to RSA Conference, said he believes his company, with flagship software products 360 Total Security for personal computer and 360 Security for Android-based mobile devices, offering antivirus functions and other security and utility features, has huge market potentials in the United States, because they are free of charge for end users.

A Qihoo 360 spokeswoman said there have been 20 million PC downloads and 100 million mobile device downloads from the company 's website by users outside China.

Worldwide, Qihoo 360 claims to have over 1 billion users, driving its market cap to nearly 7 billion U.S. dollars.

Across the aisle from Qihoo 360's booth at Mascone Center, a conference and exhibition complex, is the booth for Huawei, a major Chinese landline and mobile network equipment manufacturer and smartphone vendor.

Starting from April 20, the exhibition venue has turned into a small town attracting thousands of visitors on daily basis. It is scheduled to close on April 24.

Security has been the catch word in the cyberspace in recent years.

Jeh Johnson, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, told the RSA Conference on Tuesday that the Department of Homeland Security was formed in 2002, in the wake of 9/11 terrorist attacks and counterterrorism is the department's cornerstone mission. "But, the reality is that in 2015, cybersecurity has become a mission of equal importance."

Johnson acknowledged that the U.S. government does not have all the answers or all the talents needed for securing the cyberspace.

So, seemingly as part of his effort, Johnson's department has a booth at the trade show, manned by U.S. federal employees flown in from Washington D.C., to engage people in Silicon Valley, south of San Francisco.

However, some local companies at the event have resorted to bashing on other countries in a way to engage potential customers.

Xinguang Xiao, chief technology officer at Antiy Labs, a Chinese company specializing on antivirus engines, has been at the RSA event five times.

Xiao remembers a moment during a pervious event when he went into arguments with people from local vendors, on who has been on the offense in cyberspace and who else may be on the defense, the United States or other countries, or the rest of the world.

He used to have a number of U.S. customers, and business seemed to be good. But he found it hard to avoid the hurt from China bashers.

Xiao has continued to come to the RSA event. Despite the possibility that there might not be new U.S. customers coming up his way, he promised that he and his team from Beijing would be the most hard-working among all exhibitors, so as to keep updated about the industry's trend.

Xiao and Antiy is appreciated by Zhong Wang, vice president of Hillstone Networks, a firewall builder originated in Beijing and with an office in Silicon Valley.

Wang believes that Chinese cybersecurity businesses like Antiy and Hillstone can thrive and will be increasingly international because they have strong focus, on what they are best at.

"We have a lot in common," he said.

On the exhibition floor, there are competition for visitors, but everybody seems to be on the same page going against cyber threats.

During his keynote speech, Secretary Johnson said he was in China two weeks ago and realized that "the U.S. and China have a vested interest in working together to address shared cyber threats, and making progress on our differences."

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