(Yicai Global) Jan. 31 -- Search giant Baidu Inc. has responded to a lawsuit filed by the firm behind China's widely-used news aggregator Toutiao, saying litigation will not resolve the complainant's development dilemma.
Beijing Bytedance Technology Co. filed the suit because the company isn't developing as hoped, Baidu said, adding that the case won't end their struggles. A Toutiao advertisement is the top result in searches for the news platform, but the company deliberately avoided mentioning this when lodging the anti-competition complaint, it added.
Both companies vie to profit from adverts displayed to readers of their online news services. Baidu collected over USD1 billion in revenue from its news feed advertising in the first three quarters of last year, while Toutiao projected full-year income at USD2.5 billion. Reports earlier this year suggest that Baidu has set up an internal department aimed at hindering Toutiao's development.
Toutiao said on Jan. 29 that Baidu, its biggest competitor, dominates the domestic search market and leverages its monopolistic advantage to mislead users and harm Toutiao's reputation. The plaintiff announced the lawsuit the same day, claiming that when users search on Baidu's app for Toutiao, the top search result is a December news article by one of Baidu's outlets, which reports on how regulators slammed Toutiao for disseminating vulgar information. The second result is the aggregator's official website, but the search titan displays a notice warning that the page may be inaccessible due to an unreliable server.