A lawsuit filed by TikTok parent ByteDance against Tencent Holdings over alleged monopoly practices has been accepted by a court in Beijing, a move that experts said could become a “landmark” case as authorities ramp up antitrust efforts, reported South China Morning Post.
ByteDance says Tencent was restricting access to content from Douyin, the domestic version of TikTok, on its WeChat and QQ messaging platforms, and abusing its dominant position in the market. While Douyin had 600 million daily active users as of August last year, WeChat had more than 1.1 billion monthly active users worldwide as of January, the vast majority of them in China.
The Beijing Intellectual Property Court started proceedings on Sunday, a ByteDance representative said. The company is seeking 90 million yuan (US$14 million) in compensation.
China’s internet giants have fought several legal battles over monopolistic practices over the years. In fact, ByteDance sued Tencent over the Douyin link restriction in 2019 as well. But its latest lawsuit is the first case since Beijing started tightening antitrust regulations on its “platform economy” late last year.