Tencent mulls pulling out of plagiarism-suspected news account
Photo: IC
China's biggest Internet company Tencent Holdings Ltd. has said it may withdraw its investment in Chaping, a news account that reportedly has millions of active users on Tencent's social media app WeChat as well as China's Twitter-like Weibo, after the account was accused of plagiarism.
Chaping said on Wednesday that it had received a total of 30 million yuan ($4.7 million) in its latest fundraising round led by a unit of Tencent Open Platform Interest. It did not reveal details about the unit's stake.
The investment is small for a company like Tencent, which according to Forbes was the 12th most valuable global tech firm last year. But for Chaping it could be substantial.
Multiple WeChat official accounts published articles accusing Chaping of plagiarism following reports of Tencent investment into Chaping, saying the account lacks originality and Tencent must give an explanation for its investment.
In response, Chaping denied the allegations, and Tencent said it was conducting an investigation into the case.
After the latest online furor, Tencent said it is reviewing the investment in accordance with its intellectual property policy, and could cut links with Chaping pending the review, according to Zhang Jun, Tencent's public relations director.
Zhang said Tencent will show no leniency toward companies on WeChat found to have breached the law, even if Tencent has a stake in these firms.
But Zhang also played down the incident, saying the investment was made by one of its subsidiaries, so it is not necessarily a reflection of Tencent's stance.

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