Vietnamese tech firm VNG sues TikTok, alleging copyright infringement

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Vietnamese technology firm VNG is suing TikTok, the popular short-form video app, saying it does not have adequate licences for the songs being used in its videos, sources said on Monday.

VNG is accusing the Chinese-owned company of using audio tracks owned by Zing, a VNG subsidiary, without the company’s consent, two sources familiar with the issue said.

A legal document from the people’s court of Ho Chi Minh City seen by Reuters seeks damages from TikTok and demands that it ceases use of Zing’s music.

“VNG requests TikTok remove all music segments taken from Zing records from both the TikTok application and website, and an indemnification for damages of over 221 billion dong ($9.5 million),” read the document.

TikTok and VNG did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

VNG Corporation is a Vietnam-based technology firm founded in 2004, known for its online games, music streaming and messaging applications.

TikTok has soared in popularity in Vietnam, where it recorded 10 million users as of August with millions of short-clip uploads to the platform, official data showed.

But some music rights-holders say TikTok does not have adequate licences for the songs being used in its videos.

“Notably, TikTok has introduced a very complicated business model to avoid copyright compliance in Vietnam,” the Vietnam Music Association said in a response to questions from Reuters.

Reuters

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.