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China: Supreme Court reaches decision in Qihoo 360 v. Tencent

 |  October 16, 2014

Nearly a year after China’s Guangdong High People’s Court issued a landmark decision in a longstanding dispute between major IT companies Tencent and Qihoo 360, reports say the Supreme Court has issued a decision on the case on Thursday in Beijing.

The Supreme Court has upheld the Guangdong High People’s Court’s earlier ruling that dismissed allegations of anticompetitive conduct against Tencent initiated by Qihoo.

Qihoo 360 launched legal action against Tencent accusing its rival of unfair bundling and exclusive dealing stemming from a 2010 incident during which Tencent ordered its users to stop using Qihoo 360’s antivirus software in order to continue using Tencent’s IM software. Tencent allowed users to use antivirus software made by companies other than Qihoo, however, including its own.

While Tencent rescinded the decision following backlash, Qihoo filed a private antitrust complaint against Tencent to seek damages. Qihoo eventually appealed the Guangdong High People’s Court order that dismissed Qihoo’s allegations of anticompetitive conduct.

The case is considered a groundbreaking one for China, whose Anti-Monopoly Law was only launched in 2008. Experts say the Guangdong High People’s Court decision marked a major milestone in China’s antitrust analysis within the Internet and technology sectors; the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Guangdong High People’s Court order solidifies that milestone.

Stay tuned for an upcoming article on the case by Vanessa Yanhua Zhang (Global Economics Group).

Related content: Analyzing Competition Among Internet Players: Qihoo 360 v. Tencent

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