Chinanews.com, March 3 (Zhongxin Financial Reporter Song Yusheng) In recent years, Chinese officials have further tightened management measures against the problem of minors' excessive use and even addiction to online games. In this context, some online platforms provide users with game account rental services, which has become a means for some minors to bypass the threshold of "anti-addiction" such as real-name authentication.
Is such behavior legal and compliant? Zhongxin Financial Reporter recently learned from the Beijing Intellectual Property Court that a platform that provides game account rental services has been judged to constitute unfair competition.
In this case, Tencent developed and operated a number of online games such as League of Legends, Honor of Kings, CrossFire, CrossFire: King of Gunfight, and Peace Elite, and stipulated in the relevant service agreement that users were not allowed to rent, transfer or sell accounts to non-initial applicants and registrants, and operated the anti-addiction system through a real-name authentication mechanism.
Zhongju Yungou E-Commerce Co., Ltd. provides an intermediary service for the lessors and renters of the above-mentioned game accounts on the rental number network platform operated by Zhongju Yungou E-commerce Co., Ltd., and provides intermediary services for its users to rent their own game accounts and rent other people's game accounts on a large scale, high frequency and concentration by setting up special areas, marking rental information, etc., and collecting fees and making profits from them.
Tencent argued that Zhongju Cloud Shopping Company's provision of rental intermediary services constituted unfair competition, and sued the court.
The court found in the first instance that the leasing intermediary service provided by Zhongju Cloud Purchase Company disrupted the order of market competition, harmed the legitimate rights and interests of other operators and consumers, harmed the public interest, and constituted an act of unfair competition.
The court ruled in the first instance that Zhongju Cloud Shopping Company immediately stopped the unfair competition behavior involved in the case; Zhongju Cloud Shopping Company published a statement in a prominent position on the homepage of the rental number network, the Android version of the rental number network app, and the iOS version of Hi Share App for 150 consecutive days, eliminating the impact of the unfair competition behavior involved in the case; Zhongju Cloud Shopping Company compensated Tencent for 117400.<> million yuan and reasonable expenses of <>,<> yuan.
Zhongju Cloud Shopping appealed to the Beijing Intellectual Property Court.
The court held that the implementation of the real-name system and the anti-addiction system for minors is an inevitable requirement for online game operators, and that limiting game accounts to registered users for their own use has also become an industry practice and can be recognized as business ethics. Zhongju Cloud Shopping Company provides users with game account rental service platforms on a large-scale, high-frequency and centralized basis, which is different from the rental of personal accounts by individual users, violates the principle of good faith and business ethics, destroys the operation mode and profit mode of game websites, seriously affects the trading opportunities and transaction income of online game operators, and improperly increases their operational difficulties and costs.
At the same time, the behavior improperly interfered with the real-name authentication mechanism and game matching rules, which not only damaged the health of minors online, but also reduced the game experience of normal users and the evaluation of Tencent's services. In addition, this behavior will also have a negative impact on the authenticity and data security of network data, and Zhongju Cloud Shopping Company objectively obtains and disseminates a large number of game accounts and passwords, which can easily cause problems such as account theft and user data leakage, and threaten the safe operation of related network products.
Therefore, after hearing, the court held that the conduct involved in the case violated the principle of good faith and business ethics, and directly damaged the legitimate business interests of online game operators; It interferes with the real-name authentication mechanism, making it difficult for the game anti-addiction system to play an effective role; Reducing the game experience of normal users and the evaluation of Tencent's services, harming the legitimate rights and interests of consumers; At the same time, it will have a negative impact on the authenticity and data security of network data.
In the end, the Beijing Intellectual Property Court ruled that Zhongju Yungou's conduct in the case constituted unfair competition, and dismissed the appeal and upheld the original judgment. (End)