China's largest cybersecurity company is accelerating its plans after announcing last month that it is joining forces with electric car startup Neta Automobile to build cars.
Qihoo 360 has kicked off the formation of its automotive team with the goal of building models priced around RMB 100,000 ($15,700), Nanfang Metropolis Daily reported on May 31.
Its recruiting department has started recruiting talent after the announcement of a joint car build with Neta, the report said, adding that a shift of core employees and executives who joined the company earlier to the car business line is not ruled out.
Qihoo 360's automotive business currently has open positions focused on technology and R&D, with positions involving perception fusion algorithms, software architecture, information security, and smart driving development, according to the report.
The company may accept both internal transfers and referrals from external talent, and it offers significantly higher referral rewards to employees than other businesses.
Its positions, including marketing and user operations, are also likely to receive incentives or internal transfers, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.
Qihoo 360 announced on May 11 that it has officially entered the smart car space with Neta, an electric car brand owned by Hozon Auto.
Qihoo 360 Chairman and CEO Zhou Hongyi said at a conference that day that because NIO, XPeng Motors and Li Auto are all already listed, he has limited partners to choose from when entering the car-making industry.
"Traditional car companies may not need me, and I prefer startups, while Neta is more like a startup team," Zhou said.
Neta was founded in October 2014， the first Neta model was launched in November 2018, and as of now, Neta has 2 models for sale - Neta V and Neta U.
The Neta V is priced between RMB 59,900 and 75,900 yuan, and the Neta U Pro has an official guide price between RMB 99,800 and 159,800 yuan after subsidies.
China's largest cybersecurity firm explains its choice of car-making partner: We have no choice because NIO, XPeng, Li Auto are already public
(Source: Qihoo 360)