South Korea‘s largest computer anti-virus service provider, AhnLab Inc., said Thursday that it has begun to offer free anti-virus software in China as part of its efforts to expand overseas philanthropy.
The China move is the company’s first overseas charity project since the anti-virus software maker announced plans to step up social contributions at home and abroad.
The “V3 Lite” anti-virus program is available on the company‘s Chinese Website (www.ahn.com.cn) for free, the company said.
The anti-virus program for consumers was downloaded by 24 million users in South Korea amid an increase in cyber hacking incidents and online private data leakages.
The software company said it will advance into Japan and other countries with the V3 Lite software.
Shares of AhnLab surged nearly five-fold this year on speculations that its founder Ahn Cheol-soo may run for the presidential elections in 2012.
Ahn, who serves as chairman of the company’s board of directors, said last month that he plans to donate about 150 billion won ($133 million) in support of education for children of low-income families.
Some people saw the donation as a prelude to his presidential bid, but Ahn stopped short of saying whether he has presidential ambitions.