ByteDance Sues Tencent For Monopolistic Behavior in $14 Million Suit

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Douyin, the Chinese language model of ByteDance’s TikTok brief video app, has filed go well with in Beijing in opposition to rival Tencent Holdings for alleged monopolistic conduct, looking for $13.9 million in compensation, ByteDance mentioned Tuesday.

Tencent prohibits the sharing of Douyin content material on its extraordinarily fashionable apps WeChat and QQ, a observe that ByteDance hopes the courtroom will rule runs counter to China’s anti-monopoly regulation and should stop.

“We consider that competitors is best for customers and promotes innovation,” a ByteDance spokesperson mentioned. “We now have filed this lawsuit to guard our rights and people of our customers.”

Tencent mentioned early Tuesday that it has not but obtained any supplies associated to the go well with however known as the allegations “groundless and defamatory.” It advised Bloomberg that it affords providers to customers and third-party merchandise “below the ideas of honest competitors and open collaboration.”

The lawsuit is the most recent transfer in an ongoing spat between the 2 tech firms, and comes at a time when China is rising its regulation of the nation’s main tech gamers for probably monopolistic conduct.

Chinese language authorities took a primary key step in this path in November once they carried out new draft rules on the problem. In December, the State Administration of Market Regulation launched an anti-trust investigation into tech big Alibaba.

Unhealthy blood between opponents ByteDance and Tencent goes again years and has grown as every more and more make strikes into the opposite’s historic turf. ByteDance has chipped away at Tencent’s supremacy in social media and gaming, and final month launched its personal digital fee platform that may butt heads with WeChat Pay. Its Douyin app had 600 million each day lively customers as of final August.

Lately, Tencent has additionally pushed again into ByteDance’s turf by launching its personal short-video streaming characteristic inside its ubiquitous WeChat app, which has over 1 billion customers and is almost indispensable for each day life and enterprise in China.

In 2018, ByteDance sued Tencent for allegedly blocking its information aggregator app Toutiao’s hyperlinks on sure platforms. Shortly after, Tencent sued ByteDance again over a separate declare of defamation. The newest go well with, nevertheless, marks the primary time that ByteDance has tried the tack of suing Tencent for monopolistic practices.

This week, ByteDance denied rumors that it has itself been blocking hyperlinks to Tencent’s WeChat and QQ apps from Douyin, however admitted that it was certainly blocking hyperlinks to WeChat and QQ consumer content material associated to finance and healthcare, fashionable content material classes which it mentioned had a better threat of scams. In October, it began banning hyperlinks to third-party gross sales platforms like Alibaba’s eBay-esque Taobao, a transfer that coincides with its personal enlargement into e-commerce.

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