Kingsoft released its latest anti-virus software "Kingsoft Anti-virus Power 2005 Safety Package" yesterday. However unlike past releases, Kingsoft is offering this software as a free download to users.
Yet when the users plan to update that free software, they will be charged a small fee of either CNY10/month or CNY90/year. In the past, Kingsoft charged users a flat rate of CNY198 for two years of service.
Though the pricing for the past and present models are similar, Kingsoft hopes this new flexible payment scheme will attract users away from foreign competition like Sophos, Symantec, and Trend Micro. Kingsoft also hopes to get around pirated software by using an identification verification mechanism through which online users can pay and upgrade their service.
Wang Quanguo, vice-CEO of Kingsoft, has told local Chinese media that the ratio of online to offline sales of Kingsoft's products is currently 1.5:1. Kingsoft hopes to increase the sales of online software even more dramatically in the coming weeks.