Docket No.：1022, second instance (终), civil case (民), (2018) Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court (粤73)
Hunantv.com Interactive Entertainment Media Co., Ltd. ("Hunantv.com") is the operator of the MangoTV website. Weisi Software (Guangzhou) Co., Ltd. ("Weisi") started operating the 720 Browser in 2013. Internet users could enable the function of blocking the heading ads and suspending the ads of the Mango TV website and having member ad-free service against the website by default, through the built-in functions of the 720 Browser. Hunantv.com believed that the act of Weisi had constituted unfair competition and appealed to the court. The court of first instance rejected the claims of Hunantv.com. In the second instance, the Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court held that the plea on the ground of technology neutrality of Weisi did not hold and that Weisi's above-mentioned act had violated the principle of honesty and creditability and commonly accepted business ethics, disturbed the social and economic order, and constituted unfair competition. The court ordered Weisi to compensate Hunantv.com for a total of economic losses and reasonable expenses of RMB 800,000.
For a browser to block video ads is an Internet competition act of great social concern, and also a difficult point to be identified in judicial practice. The second instance judgment in this case made a multi-angle comprehensive evaluation of the browser's act of blocking video advertisements, made detailed the components and applicable scenarios for the determination of Internet unfair competition acts, and had a useful exploration of the difficult points of legal application such as the application of the general provisions of the anti-unfair competition law. This case is a vivid reflection of the continuous improvement of the rules of the competition law by the people's court in the face of new technologies, new business forms, and new fields.