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Tencent to pay $31 thousand to Bytedance subsidiary Moonton following defamation dispute

The court found in Moonton’s favour, but the legal battle continues between the two companies
Tencent to pay $31 thousand to Bytedance subsidiary Moonton following defamation dispute
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Tencent has lost a defamation case raised by ByteDance subsidiary Moonton, who alleged that the gaming giant had spread false information about its game Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.

According to the China Judgement Documents Network, Tencent’s actions constituted commercial defamation and the court has ordered the company to pay $31 thousand (220 thousand Chinese Yuan) within ten days of its ruling.

This isn’t the first time that Moonton and Tencent have engaged in a legal battle. Moonton’s co-founder Xu Zhenhua was employed by Tencent at the time of Moonton’s creation, and as a result was sued for $2.7 million due to violating a non-compete clause in his contract.

Bang bang

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang was launched in 2016, and has become Moonton’s biggest hits with 90 million active users worldwide. The game surpassed the Tencent title Honor of Kings and became the dominant name in the Southeast Asian market. The success of the title led to the company’s acquisition by ByteDance in 2021.

Due to Zhenhua’s history with Tencent, the company alleges that Zhenhua utilised trade secrets in the development of the game, stating that it was infringing on the copyright of both Honor of Kings and Arena of Valor.

Moonton’s counterclaim was prompted by the latter claims, stating that the original case was only about the violation of Zhenhua’s contract. No decision was made regarding the possibility of copyright infringement.

However, while the battle may be over, the war between the two companies continues. Tencent Subsidiary Riot Games filed a copyright suit against Moonton in May this year, claiming that Mobile Legends: Bang Bang plagiarised elements of League of Legends: Wild Rift.