Anti-Monopoly Actions Against Facebook and Legal Risks Incurred by Tencent Blocking its Rivals

The US Federal Trade Commission and others in 48 states and areas in the US filed anti-monopoly actions against Facebook for its acts of blocking access of its rivals’ apps to the application programming interface of its open platform. Actually, such acts are very common and even more serious in China. For example, WeChat developed by Tencent blocked APIs of open platforms of apps and domain names of many of its rivals.

Acts of platform companies blocking others do much damage to orderly competition and could harm or even destroy medium and small size startups. Let’s see what we can learn from the Facebook anti-monopoly action case to prevent monopolies among Chinese platforms.


Uber’s China Imitator Didi Taxi Meets Trademark Problems

Could Tencent be Exempt from Compensation for Losses of WeChat LiCaiTong? Part 2

wechat LicaiTONG

(ByYou Yunting)  Yesterday we explained the legal status of WeChat LiCaiTong and the exemption clauses of Tencent in Could Tencent be Exempt from Compensation for Losses of WeChat LiCaiTong ? Part 1. We will continue to analyze this in today’s post.

III.   Could Tencent be exempted from liability for the risks of losses?

If any losses arise from the purchase from LiCaiTong, purchasers shall assume responsibilities in accordance with Tencent’s agreements. In my opinion, however, WeChat does not disclose the risks of LiCaiTong completely. Therefore, Tencent will not necessarily be exempt from its liabilities.


Could Tencent be Exempt from Compensation for Losses of WeChat LiCaiTong? Part I

wechat LicaiTONG

(ByYou Yunting) Abstract: Tencent will make no compensation to WeChat users who lost all their money in purchasing its LiCaiTong (an online financial services product) in accordance with Tencent’s Users Agreement. However, where the mobile client system of WeChat’s LiCaiTong is so simple that WeChat users are deliberately not informed of the fund name before making investments and where WeChat discloses the risk of higher interest rates in an overly optimistic way, were there any loss in the view of LiCaiTong, Tencent will face the risk of assuming compensation liability on the grounds of its fault of inadequate risk disclosure.


Was Tencent’s Unverified Non-Competition Agreement Illegal?

(By You Yunting)  Abstract: Many of Tencent’s non-competition contracts, recently reported online are likely not real due to obvious invalidity. If the contracts were genuine, one might wonder about the intelligence and morality of Tencent’s managers and officers. These agreements are arrogant, domineering, selfish and largely ignorant of relevant laws. It is hard to imagine how these contracts could come from a listed company with billions of dollars. Additionally, Tencent could possibly be required to pay large amounts of compensation to departing employees in order to fully comply with the relevant laws.


Why NEXON’s BNB Failed to Accuse Tencent’s “QQ堂” of Copyright Infringement?


(By Luo Yanjie) Abstract:  The Copyright Law protects “expression” rather than “thought”. For the purposes of the Copyright Law, “works” refer to original intellectual creations in the literary, artistic and scientific domain, insofar as they are capable of being reproduced in a specific tangible form. Works without originality are not protected by these laws.

In recent years, there has been a serious plagiarism problem in the field of online games. Considering that online games act as computer software, laws protect its “code” other than game mode and method. The case in today’s post will elucidate this principle.


Internet Society of China Published the Convention of Self-Discipline for Internet Terminal Security Service

(By You Yunting) On December 4, 2013, Internet Society of China (the “ISC”) published the Convention of Self-Discipline for Internet Terminal Security Service (the “Convention”) in Beijing. Those eight Internet terminal security service providers, such as Tencent (0700.HK), Baidu (NASD: BIDU), QIHOO (NYSE:QIHU), Kingsoft Corporation Limited (03888.HK), RISING, Jiangmin Technology, TOPSEC and NetIQ Mobile Inc, signed on the Convention. Afterwards, there are about 23 companies, i.e. SOHU (NASDAQ:SOHU), Sogou, Xunlei and Xiaomi Technology signing related documents in favor of the Convention. The Convention, comprising of 6 chapters and 27 articles, aims to protect legal interests of users, maintain a fair and harmonious market competitive environment and promote the healthy development of internet industry.


How to Determine the Competent Jurisdiction for Online Infringement?

(By Luo Yanjie) Abstract: The Supreme People’s Court’s decision concerning jurisdiction in terms of determining the domicile of a transit server seems rather amiss against the principle of the doctrine of the plaintiff accommodating the defendant. The place where a plaintiff discovers infringing content should be the final choice of jurisdiction in cases involving network and online infringement. Unfortunately, laws and judicial interpretations in our country do not currently make a distinction between the right of goodwill and a legal person’s right of reputation.


Would Tencent Take the Copyright of Contents Published by Users on WeChat?


(By You Yunting) Recently, a news report titled “My WeChat, But Not My Copyright?” (note: the article is in Chinese) has raised wide suspicion over the copyright of the messages posted on WeChat, a LBS messaging software by Tencent. The reporter checked the User Agreement of Tencent and interviewed a representative from the company. Unfortunately, ultimately the reporter was still unable to reach a conclusion  on the copyright ownership for messages posted on WeChat.

The author also examined the User Agreement of Tencent’s WeChat, and verified the dou
bt of the reporter. With regards to the copyright ownership of the content published by the user, Tencent’s User Agreement included very little information  and does not answer the question. As regulated in Article 11.1 of Tencent Service Agreement and Article 9.1 of Tencent Public Platform Service Agreement:


Dissatisfied with the First Instance Judgment, Qihoo Has Appealed in Its Anti-Monopoly Lawsuit Against Tencent

Our website has analyzed the case filed by Qihoo (NYSE: QIHU) against Tencent (SEHK: 700) stating that Tencent’s abuse of market dominance constituted a monopoly. The first instance of the case was decided by the Guangdong High People’s Court, which denied all of Qihoo’s claims. As recently disclosed by Qihoo, the company has appealed to the Supreme People’s Court, demanding either revocation of the first instance judgment and remand for the retrial, or amendment of the first instance legal judgment based on the facts such that all of Qihoo’s claims are supported.


“Do Not Hire Agreements” among Google, Intel, Apple and Other Tech Firms Violates Chinese Laws?


(By You Yunting) As reported, the CEOs of tech giants Apple, Intel, and Google might be forced to go to court to account for mutual unwritten agreements about not soliciting each other’s workers for employment. These cases started due to the dissatisfaction of relevant employees, who believed that such “do not hire agreements” damaged that legal rights and interests. The news has also revealed emails from former Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, threatening Palm and Google and demanding that they stop using headhunters to obtain the email addresses of Apple employees. This news also raised the concerns within the industry.


Is Tencent’s 51Buy’s “Higher Price Reimbursement” Strategy against 360buy Illegal?


(By You Yunting) As reported by the media, the e-commerce site has instituted a so-called “higher price compensation” strategy: if clients of, an affiliate of Tencent, find a lower price for an item on, then will refund the price difference to the client as credits. According to, however, this action violates the Anti-unfair Competition Law and relevant commercial ethics. therefore sent a warning letter to In reply, used its Weibo to state that the activity is legitimate and will continue.


Another iPad Like Battle for WeChat (微信) Trademark Dispute?


 (By Albert Chen) In yesterday’s post, we analyzed why Tencent would confront with the trademark squatting, and mainly blamed it for the defect on the internal management. Today, we would continue our discussion, and share our opinions on how could Tencent take back or stop the first application by others.

Before the end of this year, no one would oppose “iPad battle” shall be the trademark dispute of the year, and yet with the breaking out of conflict on the trademark of “微信”, a LBS software from Tencent Inc. (the “Tencent”) and its English name is WeChat, that affirmation would be challenged.


WeChat Trademark And Tencent’ s Problem in Trademark Management


(By You Yunting) In recent, several medias have interviewed the author on the squatting of “微信” trademark, which is the name of a LBS software of Tencent Inc. (the “Tencent”), and the English name of it is WeChat. The story of it is: A company admitted in Beijing (the “Beijing Company”) made its trademark application of “微信” in Class 38 on 17th January of 2011. Tencent, who runs WeChat (“微信”) software, made its own application several a week later on 24th. For the first application principle, Tencent’s application has been refused by the authority. And part of Beijing Company’s application has also been refused, while part of it was opposed. Currently, WeChat (“微信”), the hit product of Tencent, is with no any records in Class 38, which is the most related class for the app.


Why China Is Not Among Top 20 Countries of Pirated Music Download?

By You Yunting

Musicmetric, a website in USA, published the top 20 countries of pirated music download, yet to most ones’ astonishment, China is not found on the tally, who is commonly accused of granting least protection on IPR. Then what contributes to the surprising result? In today’s post, you could find our answer to it.

I. Most online music services are using the copyrighted ones

Unlike chargeable music download in iTunes or through P2P in USA, most users in China tend to get their free music by search engine, or download or listen to them by music software. The most popular music service now in China is from Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU) and Tencent (SEHK: 700), whose music library is mostly licensed by the main recorders around the world.