Wednesday, February 3, 2021

ByteDance Sues Tencent; Seek US$14 Million Compensation For Content Blocking

ByteDance, the parent company of the popular social media app, TikTok, recently sued the Shenzen-based Tencent Holdings (Tencent). It is accusing its social media rival of actively blocking content from Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, on the latter’s own platforms, including WeChat and QQ.

The company’s lawsuit comes months after China introduced draft regulations, aimed at online and internet-based companies that engage in monopolistic behaviour. Also, this isn’t the first time ByteDance has taken Tencent to court in China either. According to Bloomberg, ByteDance has filed several lawsuits against its competitor, but this was the first time it was doing so under anti-monopoly grounds.

For the alleged blocking of its links, ByteDance is also seeking US$14 million (~RM56.7 million) in compensation from Tencent. That said and oddly enough, the company did clarify that it was also blocking certain links from WeChat and QQ. Namely, financial and health care-related content, stating that links from such content had a high probability of being scams or illegal tactics via third-party platforms.

At the time of writing, Tencent has not released an official statement regarding its rival lawsuit.

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