The competition is heating up between Chinese tech giants Tencent, owner of WeChat, and the world’s most valuable startup ByteDance, the company behind TikTok. The popular short video app has now been ruled to stop providing WeChat’s authorized login services to Duoshan, a video-messaging app that also belongs to Bytedance.
On March 20th, the ruling on the illegal use of user data by TikTok and Duoshan was announced by the People’s Court in Binhai, Tianjin. In addition to the banning of shared login services from WeChat and QQ, Duoshan has also been required to stop using profile pictures and nicknames from these apps. The ruling also forbids TikTok from using profile pictures and nicknames from Tencent’s social media apps whenever TikTok recommends friends to its users.
One day before the ruling, Duoshan sent a notice to its users via a pop-up window. It said Tencent claimed that the information on their WeChat or QQ accounts in the form of profile pictures or nicknames were property of Tencent and could not be used elsewhere. If a Duoshan user chose the same profile picture or nickname for both WeChat and Duoshan, they would have to make adjustments. Later that night, Tencent issued a statement and dismissed the action as a violation of integrity.
The rivalry between Tencent and Bytedance is no secret. Two days after the app Duoshan was launched, people noticed it had been removed from Tencent’s App store. Meanwhile, links from Bytedance’s official website are no longer accessible on WeChat.
The CEO of Toutiao (another product of Bytedance), Chen Lin once said there’s no direct competition between Duoshan and WeChat since the former focuses on intimate relationships while the latter is an instant social messaging platform. Tencent has yet to respond to the comment concerning the competition from Duoshan.
Featured photo credit to VCG