We’ve been keeping tabs on the back-and-forth rivalry between upstart Chinese search engine Qihoo 360 and giant Baidu, and it looks like the battle is spilling out from the search industry to the companies’ other products. Marbridge Consulting notes that four major Chinese securities firms have told employees to uninstall Qihoo 360’s software due to privacy and security concerns.

Reports from Chinese-language Donews suggest that firms abandoning Qihoo’s software may be a collective show of support from Baidu’s close partners. However, sources within Baidu reportedly told the publication that, while it doesn’t use the company’s software internally, it has no such requirements on its partners. Qihoo makes anti-virus and security software and a browser.

Meanwhile, Qihoo has upped its commitment to the search game by launching its own domain for its engine, which had previously been nested within its Hao.360.com portal and its browser. Qihoo launched its search engine earlier in August and is believed to have quickly jumped past Google into second place.

Baidu is believed to have taken offense at Qihoo 360’s search results, which are suspiciously similar to Baidu’s own, and blocked some of the incoming links from Qihoo. Fighting back, Qihoo responded by dropping links to Baidu from its portal and also picking up with a different partner for image search.

The public disagreement between the two companies is made more dramatic by Qihoo’s own history of fighting with other companies. It has had conflict with Tencent, China’s largest Internet company, and up-and-coming smartphone maker Xiaomi.

Image credit: Keso