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ByteDance-Owned Douyin Short Video App Sues Tencent for Monopolistic Behaviour

Tencent restricts users from sharing Douyin content on its instant messaging apps WeChat and QQ.

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ByteDance-Owned Douyin Short Video App Sues Tencent for Monopolistic Behaviour

ByteDance competes with Tencent in social media in China and has challenged Tencent previously

Highlights
  • Chinese regulators are stepping up regulations on tech giants
  • Beijing issued draft rules aimed at preventing monopolistic behaviour
  • ByteDance competes with Tencent in social media in China

ByteDance's Chinese short video app Douyin has filed a complaint with a court in Beijing to sue Tencent Holdings for monopolistic behaviour and asked for CNY 90 million (roughly Rs. 101 crores) in compensation, ByteDance said on Tuesday.

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 did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Douyin's lawsuit 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 e-commerce giant Alibaba.

ByteDance competes with Tencent in social media in China and has challenged Tencent previously. 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.

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

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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