Douyin sues Tencent for monopolistic behaviour

Platform Industry: China's Tencent

ByteDance’s wildly popular short-video app Douyin has filed a complaint with a court in Beijing to sue Tencent for monopolistic behaviour and asked compensation, ByteDance has said.

Tencent restricts users from sharing Douyin content on its instant messaging apps WeChat and QQ, which should be prohibited by anti-monopoly law, ByteDance said, adding that it has asked the court to order Tencent to stop such behaviour.

“We believe that competition is better for consumers and promote innovation,” Douyin said in a statement.

“We have filed a lawsuit to protect our rights and those of our users.”

Tencent Holdings did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Douyin’s lawsuit seeking 90 million yuan (approximately $13.94 million) compensation comes as Chinese regulators step up regulations on tech giants. Beijing issued draft rules in November aimed at preventing monopolistic behaviour by internet firms, marking China’s first serious regulatory move against the sector.

The State Administration of Market Regulation in December announced the launch of an antitrust investigation into Chinese online marketplace giant Alibaba.

ByteDance competes with Tencent across the social media in China and has challenged Tencent on numerous times before. Back in 2018, it sued Tencent for anti-competitive behaviour, alleging Tencent’s social platform QQ zone and its Guanjia software blocked ByteDance’s news aggregator Toutiao’s links.

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Tencent filed a lawsuit accusing ByteDance of defamation at around the same time.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Translation from English to other languages via Google Cloud Translation. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Yingzhi Yang in Beijing and Brenda Goh in Shanghai. Additional reporting by Pei Li. Editing by Ed Osmond and Jason Neely.

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