Tencent Holdings recently upped its claim amount for Douyin, the Chinese version of ByteDance’s TikTok, from 61.6 million yuan ($9.7 million) to 800 million yuan ($126 million) for illegally streaming Soul Land on its platform.
Tencent filed an injunction in Chongqing No.1 Intermediate People’s Court in June, alleging that Douyin permitted its users to broadcast whole episodes or edited clips of the anime Soul Land, which had amassed over 20 billion views on the short video platform.
Tencent initially demanded US$9.7 million from Douyin, in addition to requesting the site to erase all Soul Land uploads and prevent any new video from being posted. At the time, the court ruled in favor of granting the preliminary injunction and ordered Douyin to fulfill Tencent’s demands.
The tech giant has filed 168 lawsuits against the video-sharing platform in 18 courts, totaling 2.943 billion yuan (US$460 million), mainly for illegal uploads of Soul Land and the TV series, You Are My Glory.
In August 2020, the Beijing Internet Court issued a judgment on another infringement case of Soul Land. Xingyu Entertainment compensated Tencent 80,000 yuan for broadcasting Soul Land and adding advertisements for profit.
In April, China’s National Copyright Administration said it would intensify scrutiny of copyright infringements, following a public call by film and television producers to end the practice of making short videos using clips from blockbuster films and popular TV series. The authority stated that it will resolve any violations and urge short video platforms to delete any content deemed to be in violation of the guidelines.
Soul Land (also known as Doulou Dalu) is a 2021 Chinese television series based on a fantasy novel of the same name by Tang Jia San Shao, starring Xiao Zhan and Wu Xuanyi. It premiered on Tencent Video, CCTV, and WeTV on Feb 5, 2021.