According to a media report on Monday, a representative of Tencent said Tik Tok’s sister app Douyin was suspected of stealing their relationship chain and was therefore blocked by their popular messaging App, Wechat. Douyin issued a statement later the same day declaring Tencent’s version of the matter is a rumor and, based on this, the court had formally filed a case following their appeal.
Douyin said, “Tencent has repeatedly spread similar rumors. As a result, we filed a lawsuit with the People’s Court of Nanshan District of Shenzhen. The court had formally filed a case on July 5 this year. At present, the case is in the trial process.”
In response to the claim, Douyin issued a clarification, saying that the friends’ recommendation function was mainly based on the personal information authorized by users, and had nothing to do with Tencent. Unless Wechat voluntarily provides them with the relationship chain, it is technically impossible for them to obtain such a thing. Moreover, the court judgment also proved that they did not steal the users’ relationship chain through Wechat and QQ.
Previously, at the press conference held by the State Council Information Office, Zhao Zhiguo, director of the Information and Communication Administration of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), said that “the restricting of the identification, analysis of website links and the blocking of visits to other websites without justifiable reasons has seriously affected the user experience, damaged the rights and interests of users and disrupted the market order.”
Chinese tech giants, including Tencent, ByteDance and Alibaba, have quickly responded on Monday to the government’s regulatory move saying that they would abide by the policies set by the MIIT to guarantee normal access to legitimate web links and to protect users’ rights and interests.