It is not clear what the switch actually does, as wi-fi is normally safe for pregnant women and Qihoo might as well have released a switch that rendered the signal “fat person friendly” or “suitable for vegans”.
But the move angered its rival Xianomi because it implied that it was marketing routers that might harm women expecting a child.
Qihoo’s P1 router features three settings: “wall penetration”, “balance” and “bun in the oven” .
Xiaomi took to social media site Weibo to denounce Qihoo’s product as scaremongering.
Xiami’s post read: “The so-called pregnancy mode is just a marketing tactic. Wi-Fi usage is safe, so please rest assured when using Xiaomi’s router.
“We firmly oppose, and feel ashamed of, those who create rumours and arouse instability for business purposes.”
Zhou Hongyi, chief executive and president of Qihoo, hit back with the rather brilliant but ominous statement: “We will wait and see who has a more profound understanding of Wi-Fi routers, me or our competitors.”
Hongyi claims that the upgraded P1 router protects pregnant women from any harm from signals, as it reduces radiation by around 70 percent.
“We are targeting people who are afraid of radiation”, he said. However, in a statement to South China Morning Post he acknowledged that no definitive link has been made between Wi-Fi signals and poor health and his company has not invested in scientists to prove how much damage the radiation from Wi-Fi can cause.
The World Health Organisation says there is no empirical evidence to suggest health implications and in any event if there were turning down the wi-fi radiation would not change much.