Chinese application service provider UC will sue Tencent, the Chinese Internet giant, for alleged unfair competitive practices.
Chinese online media report that Yu Yongfu, chief executive officer of UC, said that if UC wins the lawsuit, it will require a face-losing apology directly from Ma Huateng, chairman and CEO of Tencent. At the same time, Yu intimated that someone from Tencent’s executive team should take responsibility for the problems by resigning.
Yu claimed that since Tencent launched its mobile browser product in 2009, UC’s browser has been placed on Tencent’s blacklist, and UC was frequently harmed by Tencent’s alleged unfair practices. He said they tried to communicate with Tencent’s senior managers, including Ma, but the efforts were in vain, and Tencent refused to address the company’s supposed poor activities. Moreover, Tencent allegedly forced other companies to choose between its own mobile browser and the product of UC, which finally made the situation intolerable for UC.
By supporting its accusation, UC has published a cooperating agreement provided by Tencent to mobile phone manufacturers. The agreement includes exclusive terms, which forbade its cooperating partners to promote products of its competitors while promoting the corresponding products of Tencent. The related products include the browser products of UC, the security assistant software made by 360, and the Weibo microblog product of Sina.com.
The specific lawsuit details are still unclear, though, meaning that perhaps UC has not officially filed any lawsuit yet. Instead, all this noise might just be its way of bringing attention to its problems with Tencent, in hopes for a settlement.