Internet companies are using the threat of government action as a cudgel against rivals. That could make the Communist Party the ultimate arbiter over the industry.
Hours after the Chinese government imposed a record $2.8 billion fine on Alibaba, a veteran internet entrepreneur urged regulators to do something similar to his company’s biggest competitor.
Douyin, TikTok’s Chinese sister service, is suing Tencent, China’s biggest internet company, to allow users to share videos to Tencent’s ubiquitous WeChat messaging service.
Alibaba, meanwhile, has applied to set up its own apps within WeChat, essentially daring Tencent to say no.
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