Qihoo 360, one of China’s biggest internet security companies, announced on Sunday that it plans to transfer its 3.5320% equity in Hozon Auto.
The recipients of this equity transfer are two Limited Partnership companies: Jiaxing Xinzhu Equity Investment Partnership and Shenzhen Jingchengkuaikuo Enterprise Management Center.
Qihoo 360 participated in two rounds of investment for Hozon Auto. Its round-B investment was 900 million yuan ($134.6 million), which was paid on May 31, 2021. The first 1 billion yuan of its round-D1 investment was paid on October 27, 2021. After the completion of this equity transfer, Qihoo 360 will still hold 11.4266% equity of Hozon Auto.
The company previously stated that its investment in Hozon Auto had a far-reaching strategic purpose, that is, taking the safety of intelligent and connected vehicles as the cornerstone to empower Hozon Auto with its accumulated experience in digital security fields such as network security, intelligent hardware security and vehicle networking security. It is further studying these safety concerns to provide better safety services for automobile enterprises.
In response to the future cooperation between the two parties, the announcement stated that “the company’s network security business cooperation with Hozon Auto is progressing smoothly. After the completion of this transaction, the company is still a shareholder of Hozon Auto, and both parties will jointly study the safety of intelligent and connected vehicles in depth.”
Qihoo 360’s car safety guards have been deployed on Hozon Auto’s new “U” model, which is the first time for the company’s car network safety products to be put on vehicles. Up to now, Qihoo 360 has established joint laboratories for automobile safety with more than 10 automobile enterprises, protecting more than 20 million vehicles in total, and more than 80% of mainstream manufacturers have adopted its automobile network safety technology and service systems.
According to the announcement, in 2021, Hozon Auto’s revenue was 5.735 billion yuan and its net profit was -2.908 billion yuan. In May 2022, Hozon Auto delivered 11,009 vehicles, a year-on-year increase of 144%. From January to May 2022, a total of 49,974 units had been delivered, up 213% year-on-year.