Tencent/Bytedance automated link blocking

Occurred: March 2021

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TikTok owner Bytedance has openly accused Chinese technology giant Tencent of blocking links to its products.

In a lengthy online post (Mandarin), Bytedance says Tencent is blocking traffic from its mobile social services WeChat and QQ to its own short-form video applications Douyin, Huoshan, and Xigua. 

Bytedance says Tencent's practice of blocking links to competitor sites has been going on for years. 

Bytedance is not the only company in Tencent's sights; the technology company is also known to prohibit users from opening links to Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall online marketplaces. 

In September 2021, China's industry ministry instructed Alibaba, Tencent, Huawei and other large internet companies to stop blocking links to each other's sites, and threatened to take action against those that failed to heed its warning. 

Operator: Tencent
Developer: Tencent
Country: China
Sector: Technology
Purpose: Block web traffic
Technology: Link blocking
Issue: Monopolisation
Transparency: Governance; Marketing