Chinese tech giant Baidu has filed a RMB 5 million (around USD 735,000) lawsuit against Bytedance and the operator of professional networking platform Maimai for defamation and copyright infringement. Baidu filed the suit over a Maimai ad that appeared on Bytedance’s content aggregator Jinri Toutiao. Baidu says the ad contains a play on words alluding to Baidu’s slogan.
The search giant claims that the ad, first spotted in August, used Baidu’s office building as a backdrop for the text: “I heard my company’s culture has changed from simple and reliable [jian dan ke yi lai, 简单可依赖] to simple and shameless [jian dan ke yi lai, 简单可以赖],” changing one character to play on the company’s slogan.
The ad appeared to guide prospective new users to a Maimai user registration page, which included a download link to the Maimai app.