MOONTON Games sued Tencent, as the company had fabricated and spread false information that was inconsistent with the facts and hindered the cooperation between the plaintiff and relevant partners. This behavior caused serious damage to MOONTON Game’s business reputation and should bear legal responsibility.
According to the China Judgment Documents Network, the case of MOONTON Games suing Tencent for commercial defamation disputes has recently been finalized. The Shanghai Intellectual Property Court found that Tencent constituted commercial slander, and ordered it to compensate the plaintiff MOONTON Games for economic losses and reasonable expenses totaling 220,000 yuan, and to clarify the commercial slander involved in the case in writing.
MOONTON Games was established in 2014 and has achieved remarkable results in the Southeast Asian game market. Its “Endless Showdown / Mobile Legends: Bang Bang” launched in June 2016 surpassed Tencent’s “Honor of Kings” in the Southeast Asian MOBA ( multiplayer online tactical competitive game) market and became the dominant player in many countries and regions. As of June this year, the monthly active users of “Endless Showdown” exceeded 100 million. In March 2021, MOONTON Games was acquired by ByteDance’s game arm Nuverse.
In 2019, MOONTON Games sued Tencent for unfair competition. Mutong Technology sued Tencent for fabricating and spread false information that was inconsistent with the facts and hindered the cooperation between the plaintiff and relevant partners. This behavior caused serious damage to Mutong’s business reputation and should bear legal responsibility.
In October 2020, the Shanghai Pudong District People’s Court made a first-instance judgment after a trial, finding that Tencent constituted commercial defamation. The court held that the defendant Tencent chose to entrust a local lawyer to fabricate and spread misleading information to the plaintiff MOONTON Game’s Indonesian partner (Revival TV, another gaming publication) when the competition between the two parties’ mobile games in the Indonesian market was particularly fierce and the MPL professional league was about to be held, with the intention of harming the competitor, the plaintiff. business reputation and commodity reputation, destroy the plaintiff’s competitive advantage, and constitute commercial slander.
After the first-instance judgment, the defendant Tencent appealed to the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court. After the trial, the court of second instance rejected Tencent’s appeal and made a final judgment upholding the original judgment.
In fact, the entanglement between MOONTON Games and Tencent has lasted for many years. In 2018, Xu Zhenhua, the founder of Mutong Technology, was sentenced to compensate Tencent 19.4 million yuan for violating the non-compete agreement. Tencent subsidiary Riot Games also sued MOONTON Game’s MOBA game “Mobile Legends: Bang Bang” for plagiarizing “League of Legends”. After that, Tencent took MOONTON Games and Xu Zhenhua to court again on the grounds that “Endless Showdown / Mobile Legends: Bang Bang” plagiarized and infringed “Honor of Kings”.