(Yicai Global) April 17 -- Tencent Holdings has filed a lawsuit against the company behind an app that helps users to automatically snatch up monetary gifts, known as hongbao, on its WeChat social platform.
The Shenzhen-based tech giant is suing Zhang Shang Yuan Jing, the developer of Hongbao Kuaishou, claiming CNY50 million (USD7.5 million) in damages for intellectual property infringement, a Beijing court said on its official WeChat account.
Users can send out cash gifts on WeChat to group chats and individuals. Hongbao in group chats are especially popular during the Chinese New Year holiday and are claimed on a first-come-first-serve basis so those with the nimblest fingers are able to snatch a share of the pot before they become over-subscribed.
However, the third-party app can grab them automatically on behalf of the user, which takes away the charm of the activity, Tencent says.
The app also compromises user privacy and WeChat data security as it is able to illegally monitor chat records, Tencent added.
By exploiting the market awareness of WeChat and WeChat hongbao and intercepting WeChat's commercial resources, the defendant accumulated more than 60 million users via the app, violating the principle of honesty, credibility and business ethics, the company continued.
Tencent has asked the court to suspend operations at the company and called on third-party app store Wandoujia to delist the software.
Editor: William Clegg