Just weeks after Bytedance and Tencent announced plans to take one another to court, the owner of China’s popular news aggregator Jinri Toutiao has filed a RMB 10 million lawsuit against Baidu for unfair competition.
According to Beijing’s Haidian People’s Court, Bytedance said that content on a Baidu-owned platform detailing the spat between it and Tencent was disparaging and slanderous. The filing claims that Baidu’s reports said Bytedance merely wanted public attention from fights with big tech companies such as Baidu and Tencent.
According to Bytedance, most of the reports originated from Baidu’s Baijiahao, an information aggregator similar to Jinri Toutiao. The company said they misleading and didn’t provide evidence for their accusations. Bytedance also said the reports damaged its public reputation, especially among internet users, and weakened its market competitiveness while improving that of Baidu.
Bytedance sued Tencent for RMB 90 million in early June for blocking its content on WeChat and other Tencent-owned platforms. The move came after Tencent filed a RMB 1 lawsuit against Bytedance for damaging its reputation on the company’s Toutiao and Douyin platforms. Although Douyin wasn’t the only platform Tencent barred from its messaging apps, videos from Douyin, and others, still couldn’t be shared within WeChat after the ban was lifted. After the lawsuits, Tencent announced that it stopped business cooperation with Bytedance. Prior to this, Douyin sued Tencent for copyrights infringement in May.
This isn’t the first time that Bytedance has sued Baidu either. The company accused Baidu of unauthorized streaming of Yi Guo Hui, a talk show produced by Jinri Toutiao and asked for a RMB 80,000 in compensation.