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Douyin removes 8,000 videos after latest copyright infringement lawsuit from Tencent

Written by Jiaxing Li Published on     2 mins read

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ByteDance and Tencent have an embittered history of wrangling over exclusive intellectual property.

Douyin took down more than 8,000 clips related to the popular TV series Crime Crackdown produced by Tencent, which filed a lawsuit last week against ByteDance’s short video platform for copyright infringement.

The rights to Crime Crackdown are owned by Tencent Video’s film production arm, Tencent Penguin Pictures, which announced the litigation on Weibo on August 21. The company said that pirated content from the show was circulating on the internet, and it has already filed a lawsuit with the Beijing Intellectual Property Court.

Douyin issued a statement on Weibo on the same day, saying that Tencent has sued the company for copyright infringement. The short video platform also pointed out that Crime Crackdown agreed to a promotional collaboration with Douyin in January 2021, explaining that part of the marketing campaign called for users to post clips from the series. Douyin claimed in a separate Weibo post that it had already taken down more than 8,000 pieces of content after receiving Tencent’s complaint, but later deleted the post.

In the lawsuit, Tencent requested that Douyin  immediately delete all content related to Crime Crackdown and provide RMB 100 million (USD 15.4 million) in compensation for economic losses and other expenses.

Exclusively streamed online via Tencent Video, and also aired by broadcasters Shanghai Dragon Television and Beijing Television, Crime Crackdown is one of the most popular TV shows produced by Tencent and has racked up over 1 billion views on Tencent Video since it debuted on August 9.

The rise of short video platforms is eroding the dominance of streaming entertainment providers. Over 873 million people in China are frequent users of short video platforms, and the country’s short video market is expected to be worth RMB 300 billion (USD 46 billion) in 2030, according to consulting firm AskCI.

As the two of the most powerful giants in the internet industry, Tencent and Douyin’s dispute mainly focuses on copyright issues. In June, Tencent sued Douyin for pirating content from its proprietary anime series Douluo Continent and sought more than RMB 60 million (USD 9 million) in damages. Tencent claimed that its exclusive content was leaking on Douyin before it was even released on its own platforms.

Earlier this month, Tencent won a lawsuit against Douyin over the illegal streaming and content reproduction of Tencent-backed video game Honor of Kings. Douyin was ordered to pay RMB 600,000 (USD 92,600) in damages.

Read this: TikTok sibling skewers Tencent in viral, deleted WeChat post

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