Here’s why ByteDance rages on Tencent for link blocking TechNode
ByteDance, the owner of viral video platform TikTok and Douyin, briefly attacked Chinese tech giant Tencent in a long and shrill post online Friday. The fight between two Chinese tech heavyweights comes amid heightened government scrutiny of anti-competitive behavior in the tech sector.
ByteDance criticized Tencent’s practice of blocking links to its products on the WeChat and QQ messaging platforms in an online article, attaching a 59-page PDF file tracing blocking activity over the past three years. The company has since deleted the post and the file.
“Over 49 million people have been blocked from sharing Douyin content on WeChat and QQ every day on average,” the ByteDance post said. The company did not specify how it calculated the number.
ByteDance has complained that Tencent has been blocking links to its short form video applications Douyin, Huoshan and Xigua for three years “affecting more than one billion users.”
ByteDance’s high-profile complaint came as Chinese regulators crack down on anti-competitive behavior by tech companies. ByteDance could benefit if regulators take action against Tencent’s link blocking practice. The company competes with Tencent on several fronts, including news aggregation and online gaming.
In March, Reuters reported that China’s leading antitrust regulator was examining Tencent’s WeChat for monopoly practices and how the popular messaging app may have crushed smaller competitors.
ByteDance declined to comment on the situation when contacted by TechNode. Tencent also declined to comment. Chinese media rescued a copy from the post of ByteDance.
Tencent isn’t the only company trying to prevent users from clicking on competing ecosystems. Tencent has banned Douyin’s links from ByteDance and the Feishu productivity tool on WeChat. It also prohibits users from opening links to e-commerce giant Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall online marketplaces.
Alibaba too prohibitions (in Chinese) merchants to list their WeChat contact details on the platform.
In August, Douyin of ByteDance said he to prohibit links to third-party e-commerce sites, including Taobao and Tencent-backed JD.com, on its live streaming channels in October. However, he also rests (in Chinese) on selling ads with links to these ecommerce sites for its short video feature.
ByteDance fights with Tencent
ByteDance wrote that the post was in response to a comment made by Tencent executive Sun Zhonghuai last Thursday at an industry forum. Sun compared short videos to pig food.
Sun, Tencent’s vice president and chief executive officer of the company’s online video department, said short video applications were food vulgar user content. “Because the personalized recommendation [algorithms] are so powerful, if you like pig, all you see is pig, nothing else, ”Sun said.
Sun is responsible for Tencent’s video streaming platform Tencent Video and Weishi short videos application, according to Chinese media reports.
ByteDance defended short videos in the post, saying Sun’s remarks were “arrogant and unfair.” “As a new form of communication, short videos help countless ordinary people record and share their lives, allowing more people to see a bigger world. “
ByteDance also hinted in the post that Tencent’s criticism of the short videos was not sincere, pointing out that Tencent had repeatedly tried to create short video apps while calling them “pigswill”.
In the attachment PDF file (in Chinese), ByteDance listed evidence that Tencent blocked links to ByteDance Douyin, Xigua and Huoshan’s short video apps on WeChat, while allowing Tencent-backed Kuaishou and Weishi to share links on the platform. -social media form.
The dossier mainly includes annals of media coverage of the Tencent and ByteDance conflicts from 2018 to 2021 and a summary of these events by ByteDance.
“We consider this brochure as a permanent reference to the https://technode.com/2021/06/08/bytedance-rages-against-tencent-over-link-blocking-heres-why/ blockage and monopoly. It always reminds us that time can erase memories, but time cannot erase facts, ”ByteDance wrote in the now deleted post.
Sue businesses for link blocking
ByteDance sued Tencent in February for blocking Douyin’s content on WeChat and QQ, citing China’s anti-monopoly law.
Bytedance accused Tencent of having violated the antimonopoly law and of having “abused a dominant position in the market”, “to exclude and restrict competition”.
The lawsuit is still awaiting a first hearing date in the Beijing intellectual property court. Tencent has request (in Chinese) that the case be transferred to a court in Shenzhen, where the company’s headquarters are located.
In 2019, a Chinese lawyer sued Tencent for blocking Alibaba’s Taobao links. He dropped the case in early 2020 for “a lack of evidence.” But since then, anti-monopoly law enforcement has taken off.
Zhang Zhengxin, the lawyer who sued Tencent, told TechNode in December that his chances of winning the case “Would increase a lot” if the matter went to court at that time.
In December, China for the first time fined a batch of tech companies for antitrust violations. A month before that, China’s leading antitrust regulator proposed new guidelines targeting anti-competitive behavior to include internet companies.