Tencent [0700:HK] on February 2 issued a response to TikTok’s lawsuit against it, stating that the allegations were inconsistent with the facts and malicious, as reported by Sina on February 3. Tencent pointed out that TikTok violated users’ rights and claimed to sue ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company. Prior to this, TikTok has submitted a complaint to the Beijing Intellectual Property Court, arguing that Tencent restricts users from sharing content from TikTok through WeChat and QQ, which violates the Anti-Monopoly Law. TikTok asked the court to order Tencent to immediately stop this behavior, publish a public statement to eliminate adverse effects, and compensate TikTok for RMB90m.
The Anti-Monopoly Law has been published for 12 years. Over this period, China’s internet economy has developed rapidly, with internet giants emerging. However, the development speed and model of large companies such as Alibaba [BABA:US] and Tencent have posed a challenge to the implementation of the Anti-Monopoly Law. On December 14, 2020, in accordance with the Anti-Monopoly Law, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) imposed an administrative penalty of RMB500,000 on Alibaba [BABA:US], China Literature [0772:HK], and Shenzhen Hive Box Technology, respectively, for their acquisitions. Although the fines are relatively low, the penalties signal strengthened anti-monopoly supervision on these internet firms. Strengthening anti-monopoly supervision is not only conducive to competition and innovation in the domestic internet industry, but also the entire economy.