'China's Google' accused of not playing fair by popular news aggregator

January 30, 2018
Industry News
Content Provided By:


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Meng Jing
meng.jing@scmp.com
Sarah Dai
sarah.dai@scmp.com

Start-up ByteDance and internet search giant Baidu both compete in the growing market for mobile newsfeed advertising in China

Baidu, China’s largest online search provider, has been sued by the operator of the country’s most popular news app for unfair competition amid an intense battle for the attention of mobile users and the lucrative advertising business they help generate.

Beijing ByteDance Technology, which runs the Jinri Toutiao app that had 232 million monthly active users as of December last year, said on Tuesday that it filed the lawsuit against Baidu at the Haidian District People’s Court in the Chinese capital, where both companies are headquartered.

In a post on its official WeChat account, ByteDance said Baidu used its “monopoly advantage” to mislead users and damage Toutiao’s reputation, the details of which it has filed in court.

Ahead of the ByteDance filing on Tuesday, Baidu issued a statement that described ByteDance’s lawsuit, like its public relations efforts, as reflecting “anxiety over its own challenges in development”.

The Nasdaq-listed company also threatened to take legal action against ByteDance, accusing the Chinese media start-up of making up stories to smear the search engine operator’s reputation.

The open feud between ByteDance and Baidu is poised to escalate as competition in digital advertising continues to heat up in the world’s largest smartphone and internet market.

The total number of internet users in China reached 751 million at the end of June last year, according to data from the China Internet Network Information Centre. It estimated about 96 per cent of that number accessed the internet through their smartphones.

Baidu directly competes against Toutiao in China’s growing market for mobile newsfeed advertising. Continue Reading

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