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Wi-Fi router's 'pregnant women' setting sparks vendor rivalry in China

One Chinese vendor is claiming its Wi-Fi routers are safer for pregnant women even though it acknowledges that there is no evidence that other routers pose a risk.

wi-fi symbol transmission network cellular
Credit: flickr/mista stagga lee

When one Chinese technology vendor, Qihoo, launched a new Wi-Fi router with a safety setting for "pregnant women," a rival vendor took offense to the implication that their routers might be dangerous.

The Guardian reports that Xiamo took to its page on Chinese social media site Weibo to denounce Qihoo's pregnant women mode as a "marketing tactic," and clarify that "Wi-Fi usage is safe."

"We firmly oppose, and feel ashamed of, those who create rumors and arouse instability for business purposes," Qihoo wrote in its post, according to the Guardian.

The World Health Organization says that exposure to electromagnetic fields from consumer technology does not increase the risk of birth defects, and that the scientific community does not support any claims of a link between the two.

Qihoo does not appear to be making these claims itself, and according to the Guardian it acknowledged that there is no scientific link between Wi-Fi routers and birth defects. However, the company's CEO says it is appealing to consumers' beliefs, whether they are supported by science or not.

"We are targeting people who are afraid of radiation," Zhou Hongyi, chief executive and president of Qihoo, said in a statement to the South China Morning Post. "We aren't scientists. We haven't done many experiments to prove how much damage the radiation from Wi-Fi can cause. We leave the right of choice to our customers."

According to the Guardian, Qihoo claims its new P1 router reduces radiation by about 70%.

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