Moonton Wins Commercial Defamation Lawsuit Against Tencent for $31,000
Moonton Games, the creator of the well-known mobile MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) game Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB), has won a Chinese court case against the tech giant Tencent. The case concluded with Tencent being held responsible for commercial defamation, resulting in a $31,000 USD (around 220k Chinese Yuan) compensation. The case revolved around the tech giant allegedly spreading false information regarding Moonton’s co-founder Xu Zhenhua. Tencent is the developer behind mobile titles such as Arena of Valor and Honor of Kings. It also owns Riot Game which created popular esports titles like League of Legends, Valorant, and Wild Rift.
Tencent's alleged propagation of false information and fabrication of facts damaged Moonton's business
A defamation case initiated by Shanghai-based game company Moonton Technology against Tencent has come to a conclusion, according to information published by China Judgments Online on 30th September. The court ruled that Tencent's actions did, in fact, amount to commercial defamation and ordered it to pay Moonton $31,000 USD in losses and expenses.
The case referred to a lawsuit filed by Tencent in China for 19.4 million Chinese Yuan ($2.7 million) against Moonton’s CEO Xu Zhenhua for infringing trade secrets to create the game's software for MLBB.
However, as stated in the court filing, the disagreement was a labor dispute involving Xu Zhenhua's contract at Tencent, which included a non-compete clause during his term. Moonton's CEO was a Tencent employee before he founded the company in 2014.
Despite Tencent's successful case against the Moonton CEO, no conclusion was reached on whether Xu Zhenhua infringed on trade secrets. As a result, Moonton filed this case for commercial defamation and eventually won the case.
This wasn’t the first time the two gaming companies have clashed through a lawsuit. Back in May 2022, . This included similarities with the title artwork, playable characters, skins, and promotional materials.