BEIJING, MAY 24 (Reuters) – A Chinese court has ordered NetEase Inc., a subsidiary of Alibaba Group, to pay NetEase Inc. ($7.8 million) as compensation for copyright infringement.
Ejoy (9988.HK), the Alibaba subsidiary that is behind the hugely successful strategy game, announced on microblogging platform Weibo, that it will appeal the Guangzhou court’s decision and that the games will continue to be played.
App Magic, a data firm, says that “Three Kingdoms Tactics”, Alibaba’s top-earning game with more than $1.97billion in player spending since its launch in 2019, has been the most lucrative.
The fine would be among the most hefty issued by Chinese courts in relation to video games, if it is upheld on appeal.
The court ordered Ejoy to delete 79 items, which it deemed had infringed copyrights on “Shuai Tu Zhi Bin”, an other popular strategy developed by NetEase.
Alibaba’s unit stated in its statement that the court rejected NetEase’s request to suspend “Three Kingdoms Tactics”, while also acknowledging the game’s own innovations.
NetEase’s “Shuai Tu Zhi Bin”, or “Invincible”, has made just over $1 billion in revenue since its launch.
NetEase spokeswoman said that the ruling “emphasizes how important fair competition is in the gaming industry, and it’s also a win for our development team who works hard to create unique content such as Invincible”.
($1 = 6.9121 yuan)
Christian Schmollinger edited the article.
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