iQiyi sues Bytedance for unlicensed streaming of hit TV drama

Chinese video streaming site iQiyi is suing Beijing ByteDance Technology for unauthorised streaming of well-received soap opera The Story of Yanxi Palace, according to South China Morning Post.

iQiyi, one of the co-producers of the 70-episode soap opera, is seeking compensation of RMB 30 million for the unlicensed streaming. The report said the Haidian District People’s Court of Beijing has accepted the lawsuit. iQiyi also demanded termination of any further live streaming from the defendant.

Possessing the exclusive online distribution rights, iQiyi accused ByteDance, the operator of information aggregation app Jinri Toutiao, of streaming short clips of the drama which drew over 800,000 views per clip. iQiyi said such act caused tremendous damage to the company.

SCMP’s report quoted a Jinri Toutiao spokeswoman who said the company has not yet received a notice from the Chinese courts regarding the case, and condemned any form of copyright infringement and have made continuous effort in tackling it.

She further explained that the company has conducted an internal check of their platform and took down all the third-party content which violated the copyright of the programme owned by iQiyi. All users violating their our policy have received relevant punishment.

Jinri Toutiao is a news and information and content platform. After analysing features of content and  interaction with its users, the platform will use AI algorithms to recommend articles and videos based on users’ interests.

The Story of Yanxi Palace has gained more than 10 billion views and smashed the platform’s one-day viewership record in early August, and is available in more than 70 markets globally.

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