A website has set up a trading area, which provides services such as trading, auxiliary registration and auxiliary unsealing of WeChat accounts. Tencent recently sued the website’s operating company for unfair competition and received 1.09 million yuan ($170,416) of compensation.
The Specification for Personal Use of WeChat Account and Tencent WeChat Software License and Service Agreement clearly stipulate that the ownership of a WeChat account belongs to Tencent. The initial registrant only obtains the right to use it, and it is not allowed to donate, borrow, rent, transfer or sell that WeChat account to anyone else.
Tencent believes that the behavior of the network technology company has seriously affected the normal operation of WeChat’s platform and destroyed the ecology of the WeChat platform. The company has requested the defendant to immediately stop its unfair competition practices, issue a public statement to eliminate the impact in a prominent position on the homepage of its official website, and compensate Tencent with 2.1 million yuan.
Zhou Ye, the official in charge of the case and President of Nanjing’s Intellectual Property Court, said that in recent years, malicious acts such as publishing false advertisements, junk marketing information and vulgar illegal information by using WeChat accounts have emerged one after another. In response to Tencent‘s regulatory measures, a gray market has slowly taken shape.
Although, in this case, the network technology company did not directly organize and participate in the trading of WeChat accounts, it did provide a trading platform for the gray market to operate.