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NetEase Cloud Music Drags Tencent Arm to Court in Antitrust Case

The suit is the latest development in a long-standing rivalry between the Chinese tech giants and their efforts to add users


Tencent Music Entertainment
The logo of China's Tencent Music Entertainment Group is seen next to an earphone in this image by Florence Lo of Reuters, from March 22, 2021.

 

China’s NetEase Cloud Music has dragged Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) to court over alleged antitrust practices and for copying its app design, the company said.

The suit is the latest development in a long-standing rivalry between the Chinese tech giants who are vying to add users and sign popular musicians.

Features of TME’s suite of music streaming apps allowed its users to sidestep copyright protection and play songs licensed by NetEase Cloud Music, the company said, accusing TME of copying the design and some features of its app.

“We urge TME to immediately rectify its products and businesses and stop all behaviours of unfair competition,” NetEase Cloud Music said in a statement on its account on the Weibo social media platform.

In response, Mo Chen, head of branding and public relations at TME, wrote: “We at TME will not engage in the war of words … Related evidence has been preserved, and we have been filing for relevant legal proceedings.”

TME declined to elaborate on Chen’s statement.

Last year, Tencent was fined on anti-trust grounds and barred from signing exclusive music copyright pacts, prompting it to end all such deals.

 

  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean OMeara

 

 

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Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.

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