BEIJING (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp
Microsoft and Qihoo on Monday signed a deal to "cooperate in mobile Internet products" and "technology exchanges in artificial intelligence", the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing the Microsoft Search Technology Center Asia.
The tie-up with Qihoo, known for its security software, mobile application store and search engine, comes as Microsoft struggles with scrutiny from China's government and state-owned businesses over the security of its products.
U.S. technology companies are battling anti-American sentiment in China. Firms like Microsoft, Apple Inc
Microsoft and Qihoo declined to provide immediate comment on the deal.
Microsoft has suffered a string of setbacks in China. Last month, China's central government procurement office issued a notice that new computers would not be allowed to have its latest Windows 8 operating system installed.
State media have also pitched in, calling last week for "severe punishment" for Microsoft and other tech firms for acting as "lackeys" of the U.S. government. [ID:nL3N0OL0TT] State broadcaster CCTV broadcast a special segment on Windows 8 which said the operating system was not secure and could be used to access private data.
Last week, Microsoft's Craig Mundie, former chief strategy officer and now a senior adviser to the firm, met senior officials from China's State Council Information Office (SCIO) and discussed Internet security issues, according to the SCIO website.
(Reporting by Paul Carsten; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)