Chinese business data platform Qichacha showed on October 11 that domestic tech giant Tencent had added a new court notice. The firm is attempting to sue three companies, including OPPO, for unfair competition. The case will be held in a court in Wuhan, Hubei Province on October 19. At present, information about the case has not been fully disclosed.
In May this year, Tencent sued vivo, another Chinese smartphone manufacturer, and the case was also a dispute over unfair competition.
This round of lawsuits concerns vivo taking advantage of its system of smartphones to restrict users from normally downloading and installing the Tencent App Store, or MyApp, by inserting pop-ups, texts, buttons, risk detection notifications, and other tactics. In addition, vivo is being sued for inducing users to download or install apps in its own app store application to gain more traffic and pursue commercial interests.
Before the court process began, it ordered vivo to immediately stop such tactics on its smartphones that would hinder the normal operation of Tencent‘s MyApp or redirect traffic to vivo’s own app store application.
It is not known whether Tencent‘s lawsuit against OPPO this time is similar to the case involving vivo. However, the traffic entrance feature of app stores has made it a battleground for Tencent and smartphone manufacturers. At present, when an external link is opened inside WeChat, Tencent‘s instant messaging app, a notification for downloading MyApp “jumps” out. If users search for MyApp with vivo’s app store application, a notification that “warmly reminds” users to access vivo’s own one appears, indicating that use of the latter is safer and more convenient.
In fact, Tencent, vivo, OPPO and Huawei went to court a few years ago. In May 2017, Tencent stated to a court in Wuhan that once OPPO users downloaded “Tencent Mobile Manager,” a smartphone app management software, they would be forced to register OPPO accounts. The company believes that OPPO, as a smartphone manufacturer, interferes with the normal operation of software by technical means, which constitutes unfair competition. Since then, Tencent has sued OPPO, demanding that the respondent compensate for losses totaling 80 million yuan ($11.2 million).
However, after the misconduct was stopped by a civil ruling, the court held that both sides focused on software and hardware respectively, which were compatible rivals and even had room for cooperation. After repeated communication from judges, Tencent finally took the initiative to withdraw the lawsuit, and both companies signed an agreement on deep cooperation.