(Yicai Global) Dec. 11 -- Haokan, a Baidu-backed short video platform, has accused Tencent Holdings of anti-competitive behavior after its video content was blocked on WeChat, Tencent's multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment app.
Videos shared from Haokan to WeChat Moments were only visible to the sharer, rather than to his or her contacts, Haokan said in a post on China's Twitter-like microblogging site Sina Weibo yesterday.
Tencent responded by saying that WeChat banned Haokan content because it breached the messaging platform's external link principles by offering financial incentives to viewers who shared its video content on WeChat with others. Tencent suggested Haokan do some 'self-inspection' and submit an email appeal, the state-owned Global Times reported.
Haokan debuted in November 2017 and can be accessed through the Baidu app or its own app.
The competition between China's tech giants, such as Tencent and Baidu, is reaching fever pitch. China's booming short video services are quickly eating up the time netizens spend on WeChat. Tencent is trying to keep up with the video trend after launching more than 10 video apps targeting different user groups. It is also defending its position in the market by limiting access to rival platforms on WeChat.
WeChat rolled out tightened restrictions on sharing external video links on its Moments in May. The move affected all mainstream video and music platforms in the country, including short video platforms Tik Tok, known as Douyin in China, and Kuaishou. But in the face of a public backlash, it quickly reversed its decision.
Although external sharing is not totally banned, disseminating content from non-Tencent related platforms does involve more effort. Kuaishou users must copy an auto-generated link for the video and then paste it on WeChat before sharing. Tik Tok users must save the short videos locally before reloading and sharing on WeChat.