Caixin
Mar 30, 2021 07:15 PM
BUSINESS & TECH

ByteDance Drops Unfair Competition Complaint Against Tencent

What’s New: ByteDance Ltd., owner of global video sensation TikTok and its Chinese twin Douyin, dropped a lawsuit against Tencent Holdings Ltd. alleging unfair competition, one of several legal tussles going on between the two tech titans.

Douyin filed the suit in the southern city of Fuzhou, Fujian province, in September 2019 alleging that Tencent violated fair market competition rules by blocking links to Douyin on Tencent-owned social media platforms WeChat and QQ. Douyin demanded that Tencent remove the restrictions and pay compensation of 90 million yuan ($13.7 million).

In December 2020, the Fuzhou court said the case should be transferred to Shenzhen, where Tencent is based. Douyin appealed in February.

Court documents showed that Douyin applied to drop the case March 15. Bytedance and Tencent declined to comment.

More background: Tencent and ByteDance have sued each other hundreds of times in disputes over copyrights, infringement and unfair competition while engaging in escalating turf battles across multiple business arenas.

Tencent has amassed more than 1 billion users of its popular messaging app WeChat, which connects with a wide range of services offered by Tencent and its partners. But ByteDance is catching up as its short video platform Douyin attracts more than 600 million daily active users.

In early February, ByteDance sued Tencent in a Beijing court alleging Tencent violated antitrust laws by blocking access to content from Douyin on WeChat and QQ, the first suit that alleged antitrust violations.

Tencent responded by saying ByteDance’s accusation was “malicious framing,” and pledged to countersue.

This story has been updated to correct the type of complaint that ByteDance dropped in court. It was an unfair competition complaint.

Contact reporter Anniek Bao (yunxinbao@caixin.com) and editor Heather Mowbray (heathermowbray@caixin.com)

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