(Yicai Global) Sept. 5 -- Shanghai Hantao Information Consulting Co., which owns China's leading group buying platform Dianping, has won its court battle with two Baidu Inc. [NASDAQ:BIDU] affiliates for improper use of Dianping data.
Baidu lodged an appeal but Shanghai's intellectual property court rejected it, upholding the original ruling for CNY3.23 million (USD494,700) in damages.
Hantao filed the suit last year against Baidu Maps and Baidu Zhidao, alleging that the two crawled Dianping for merchant reviews to display on their own apps or websites. The firm saw this as unfair competition and demanded Baidu cease to take the reviews and pay USD13.78 million in compensation.
The first-instance court agreed the act was not justified, though Hantao was unable to furnish evidence proving the exact amount it lost. The sum of the compensation was therefore reduced. Baidu must pay USD459,500 to cover financial losses and a further USD35,200 for unfair competition.
Online searches show that 86,300 customer reviews of 1,055 catering businesses listed on Baidu Maps came from Dianping, an average of 81 reviews per seller. More than three quarters of reviews for another 784 sellers were copied from Dianping, with the sellers all displayed near the top of search rankings.