An anti-monopoly complaint was recently filed against Chinese multinational technology conglomerate Tencent Holdings Ltd. The complaint was filed by Shanghai PATEO, a smart vehicle technology supplier and GM China venture.
According to a report from Reuters, Shanghai PATEO issued a statement alleging Tencent abused its messaging app to restrict sales of its products, including various mobile applications such as AI-based voice recognition features. The features and applications that PATEO offer rely on Tencent’s WeChat app, which occupies a dominant position in the market. PATEO added that Tencent has requested that car companies stop use of PATEO’s Internet of Vehicles products since August of last year.
Further key PATEO products include Map and Navigation software, Vehicle Data, Autonomous Driving, and In-Vehicle Payment. The GM China venture jointly filed the complaint against Tencent with SAIC Motor Corp.
Tencent rebutted the accusation, and in a statement posted to the official WeCat account, said that the company had filed a lawsuit against PATEO last September alleging unfair competition and trademark infringement.
Tencent stated that the PATEO app accessed user data on WeChat, including contact lists and chat history, without proper authorization. Tencent also said that PATEO and the GM venture have marketed its app using the WeChat trademark, misleading users.
“Tencent and its products follow the notion of fair competition and open cooperation when providing services to our users and third-party products,” Tencent said in a statement. “The malicious publicity stunts on monopoly should not be a shield for infringement.”
The latest complaint from GM China follows another recent accusation of monopolistic behavior levied against Tencent, in which ByteDance, developer of Douyin, the Chinese version of the TikTok social media platform, filed with a Beijing court seeking $14 million in compensation. Tencent responded to the ByteDance accusation by classifying it as false and accusing ByteDance of illegally using user data.
Subscribe to GM Authority for more GM China news and around-the-clock GM news coverage.