Chinese automaker SAIC-GM-Wuling and one of its partners have reported Chinese social media giant Tencent to China's State Administration for Market Regulation for alleged monopolization, which Tencent hit back as a cover-up of alleged infringements of its rights.
The filing by SAIC-GM-Wuling and connected car service provider Pateo Group alleges that Tencent abused its dominant position in China's instant messaging market by pressuring and restricting automakers to buying SAIC-GM-Wuling's WeChat-enabled in-car products.
The conduct was not reasonably justified and had the effect of excluding and restricting competition in the market for Pateo’s products and services, which constitutes an abuse of dominant market position prohibited by the Anti-Monopoly Law and should be prohibited, the filing said.
Pateo also accused Tencent of using its patents in Tencent Maps software without permission and demanded that Tencent be ordered to immediately stop the infringement and pay compensation for economic losses and costs, temporarily totaling RMB 80 million.
Tencent said that without its authorization and permission, the app developed by Pateo collected, stored, and uploaded WeChat-related information in the course of use, infringing on the privacy and rights of the personal information of WeChat users.
SAIC-GM-Wuling and Pateo publicly advertised that it had developed in-car WeChat functions and frequently used trademarks such as "WeChat" to mislead users and partners, which constituted trademark infringement and unfair competition, Tencent said.
Tencent has filed a lawsuit with Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court on September 29, 2020, and the case was officially filed on October 29, 2020, the company said.
Tencent and its products provide services to users and third-party products while fostering fair competition and open cooperation. Tencent said that "malicious speculation on monopoly" should not be a shield for infringement.