Word has it that Chinese Web security firm Qihoo is gearing up for an IPO, in what could become a major money spinner for its controversial founder and chairman Zhou Hongwei. Details on the offering are still to be determined, but any wise investor would be well advised to read up on Zhou’s long history as a lightning rod for litigation from some of China’s biggest Internet firms. Those who have sued Zhou, who shot to fame as Yahoo’s (Nasdaq: YHOO) initial top man in China, mostly for shady business practices, include Yahoo’s current business partner Alibaba Group, leading search engine Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) and most recently China’s top Internet firm Tencent (HKEx: 700), in a high-profile spat has captivate China. Maybe one lawsuit would be understandable, but after a while a pattern starts to develop. No doubt some US investors may pile into this one looking to make a quick buck off one of China’s earliest Internet whizzes. But anyone in for the long haul, or even the medium one, should be extremely wary of this one.
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