The Second Intermediate People Court of Beijing has accepted a lawsuit filed by Beijing Sogou Information Service Company and Beijing Sogou Technology Development Company, two affiliates of Sogou, against Tencent and Aldsoft over unfair competition.
The plaintiffs said that Tencent, a Chinese instant messaging and online game provider, blocks computer users from using Sogou's Pinyin input software by deleting the shortcut feature of the software from users' computers. In addition, the complaint states Tencent intentionally intervenes in the input method sort order so Sogou Pinyin input method is always placed behind its QQ Pinyin input software. QQ is a brand name for Tencent's instant messaging software.
For Aldsoft, the two plaintiffs say that as one of the largest software selling platforms in China, Aldsoft facilitates Tencent's infringing behavior by selling Tencent's QQ Pinyin input software.
The plaintiffs asked the court to sentence the defendants to pay Sogou CNY20.51 million in compensation.
Established in 2005 by Chinese Internet portal Sohu.com, Sogou is mainly engaged in search engine and related services. In May 2006, Sohu formally launched Sogou Pinyin input method and to date the company claims this software has occupied over 70% of the Chinese character input market.