The persistent war of anti-monopoly has been fueling up as ByteDance’s Douyin on Feb. 2 announced to sue tech giant Tencent for restricting users to share Douyin content on WeChat and QQ, two of China’s most popular messaging apps owned by Tencent.
Douyin requests that the court terminates such practices of Tencent, and requires Tencent to issue a public statement to eliminate adverse effects as well as compensate 90 million yuan for economic losses.
The short video platform pointed out WeChat and QQ have banned Douyin for the past three years, starting in April 2018, so that Douyin links are unable to be displayed properly if shared on these two platforms. Douyin thus accused Tencent of abusing its market dominance.
Tencent, on the same day, claimed that it hadn’t received any relevant materials about Douyin’s lawsuit, according to a statement on its official WeChat public account.
The company also said that it has been sticking to the principle of fair competition as well as its openness for cooperation. “The relevant allegations made by ByteDance are purely false and are malicious framing,” Tencent pointed out.
In the second half of the statement, Tencent mentioned the illegitimate practices of ByteDance that have been pulled by the court, including obtaining WeChat users’ personal information in regulatory violation.
Tencent claimed that it would continue to file a lawsuit against ByteDance for monopolistic practices.
Tech companies in China have found themselves in hot water in recent months due to the government’s increasingly frequent anti-trust probes and the mud these tech giants have thrown at each other.
Meituan last December was under investigation for abusing its market-dominant position and banning Ant Group’s Alipay on its apps. In the same month, the merger of Huya and Douyu was also under review for anti-monopolistic concerns. Alibaba Investment, China Literature and Hive Box were also together fined 1.5 million yuan for anti-trust violation.