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Baidu Escalates Legal Battle with Bytedance Over Search Results

By Ding Yi / Dec 20, 2019 01:17 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

The ongoing legal spat between Chinese tech giants Baidu and Bytedance has taken a new turn after the former company filed a fresh lawsuit against the latter for unfair competition.

Baidu is suing Bytedance’s news aggregation app Jinri Toutiao for “interfering with” search results, according to a statement released Thursday on the website of Beijing’s Haidian District People’s Court. The court has accepted the case.

Baidu claims that Jinri Toutiao’s search engine deliberately nudges users searching for Baidu-affiliated content toward different results produced by ByteDance’s subsidiaries. For example, users who searched for clips produced by two Baidu-owned short-video platforms, Baidu Video and Haokan Video, were redirected to the ByteDance-affiliated site Xigua Video instead, Baidu says.

Baidu alleges that the search results helped Xigua Video gain an unfair competitive advantage. The company has demanded compensation of 1 million yuan ($140,000) and a public apology.

The case is the latest in a flurry of unfair-competition lawsuits between the two tech big-hitters. In April, Baidu sued Jinri Toutiao for duplicating its search results and passing them off as their own. In retaliation, Bytedance-owned video-sharing app Douyin filed a countersuit to a court in Beijing claiming Baidu had stolen a massive amount of short videos.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Baidu and ByteDance Launch Tit-for-Tat Lawsuit War


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