A Bytedance executive has accused popular messaging app WeChat of monopolizing China’s social media landscape to the detriment of internet users. The call comes shortly after the Tencent-owned messaging giant vowed to escalate its restrictions on link sharing within its app.

Li Liang, vice president of Bytedance, said in a post on the company’s content aggregation app Jinri Toutiao (in Chinese) that it is reasonable for WeChat to ban its competitors, but it should not claim to be kind if it is slandering its opponents. Li was referencing a speech by WeChat creator Allen Zhang in which he implied companies can choose to be kind rather than “smart,” and not spoil their users with advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence.

Tencent was not immediately available for comment.

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Jill Shen

Jill Shen is Shanghai-based technology reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous vehicles, and electric cars. Connect with her via e-mail: jill.shen@technode.com or Twitter: @yushan_shen