Tencent to stand trial in court for Moonton’s allegations of video game infringement

According to the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court’s website, Chinese video gaming giant Tencent Holdings has started to stand trial since yesterday for allegations of copyright infringement from Moonton, a subsidiary of ByteDance.


The company claims that Tencent has infringed on the rights of its popular MOBA game, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. The alleged violations were rights to authorship, reproduction, and communications related to the title.

This court case is the latest addition to the several court cases that both companies were involved in. In a previous lawsuit that’s still ongoing, Tencent claimed that Mobile Legends has violated its intellectual property in Honour of Kings and League of Legends.


Also, earlier this month, Tencent's subsidiary Riot Games lawsuit against Moonton in the US was unsuccessful as the Californian court dismissed the case, which was accusations against Moonton for allegedly infringing on content and promotional collateral from its hit mobile game League of Legends: Wild Rift.

Moonton was founded by Xu Zhenghua, a former game producer at Tencent. The company started its operations in Shanghai in 2014 and when they launched Mobile Legends two years later, the game became so popular, internationally, that it helped the company’s reputation, making it one of China’s most successful gaming studios. This attracted Tencent’s attention that they pursued an acquisition of it but was outbid by ByteDance last year. Note that Mobile Legends: Bang Bang has yet to see a local release.

After acquiring Moonton for US$4 billion, Bytedance’s acquisition made the news because it was the largest acquisition ever in China’s video game industry. Though the first allegation that Tencent made against Moonton was before the acquisition, the legal battles have since intensified after it.