Claiming that browser plug-ins hijacked traffic, Baidu sued the operator

According to the official account of Beijing Haidian Court, because it is believed that the "New Media Manager "Plus" browser plug-in operated by Shanghai Zhengkai Information Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Zhengkai Company) is on the Baidu website A link was inserted in the link to forcibly jump to the relevant page of its new media steward network. Beijing Baidu Wangxun Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Baidu Company) sued Zhengkai Company to the court, demanding Zhengkai Company to compensate Baidu Company for economic losses and reasonable Expenses and eliminate the impact. After the trial, the Haidian Court ruled in the first instance that Zhengkai Company compensated Baidu Company for economic losses of 800,000 yuan and reasonable expenses of 30,000 yuan.


Baidu Company alleged that it found that after users installed the "New Media Manager "Plus"" browser plug-in developed and operated by Zhengkai Company in their computer browsers, when they entered the search box of Baidu.com for keyword searches, the search results page The "WeChat" topic and the "Real-time Hotspot" section link appear in the topic search bar (hereinafter referred to as the link involved in the case). After clicking the link involved in the case, the user will be directly redirected to the relevant page of the new media steward network operated by Zhengkai. Baidu Company It is believed that the aforementioned behavior of Zhengkai Company is an act of forcibly inserting links and jumping, which interferes with and disrupts the normal operation of Baidu's products and constitutes unfair competition.


Zhengkai argued that: Baidu's evidence could not prove that the accused plug-in affected the normal operation of Baidu.com's services and that the functions of Baidu.com could be used normally. The actions of Zhengkai Company did not hijack Baidu's traffic. All users downloaded the plug-in involved in the case before they could use the aggregate search function of the plug-in. Zhengkai's users did not come from Baidu Company. Clicking on the link involved in the case jumped to the page that only accommodates different search engines, and does not contain the contents of Zhengkai. Therefore, it did not agree to all of Baidu's litigation claims.


After the trial, the court held that Baidu.com is a search engine product legally operated by Baidu. The operating income and competitive advantages of Baidu during its operation are legitimate rights and interests and should be protected by the Anti-Unfair Competition Law.

Regarding whether Zhengkai’s alleged actions constituted unfair competition, the court held that: First of all, the links involved in the case inserted by Zhengkai on Baidu.com were sufficient to make users mistakenly believe that relevant content was provided by Baidu, and the users did not know about it. Under the circumstances, being attracted to the website operated by Zhengkai Company interfered with the user's normal use of Baidu.com's search results, and also affected the user's right to know and to choose.


Secondly, within the business scope of products controlled by Baidu, Zhengkai Company forcibly joined Zhengkai's service content by inserting links without its consent, which interfered with the normal search service of Baidu.com.


Third, Zhengkai Company inserted the link involved in the case for no reasonable reason and used the words "WeChat" and "real-time hotspot" to attract users to click. At the same time, the display method and location of the inserted content are highly integrated with the original page settings in Baidu.com. All manifested obvious subjective maliciousness.


Fourth, the link involved in the case led users to Baidu.com, which greatly reduced the transaction opportunities for users to search on Baidu.com and the possibility of returning to Baidu.com to browse related information. However, Zhengkai obtained information that did not belong to itself. User traffic to obtain illegitimate benefits. In summary, without a reasonable reason, Zhengkai Company used the plug-in involved to insert "WeChat" topic and "real-time hotspot" section links in Baidu.com, so that users can enter the relevant pages operated by Zhengkai Company after clicking the above links. The aforesaid behavior has affected the choices of users, interfered with the normal operation of Baidu.com's search service, and harmed the legitimate rights and interests of Baidu. It is an act of unfair competition regulated by Article 12, Paragraph 2, Item 1 of the Anti-Unfair Competition Law. During the litigation process of the case, the court also made conduct preservation ruling on the unfair competition involved in the case, and Zhengkai Company fulfilled the ruling in a timely manner.


In the end, the court made the above judgment. After the verdict was pronounced, the defendant Zhengkai Company filed an appeal.

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