A significant ecological “invasion” is quietly taking place on January 21, as Tencent’s blockbuster mobile game “Honor of Kings” officially opens its live streaming rights to ByteDance’s short video platform Douyin.

This marks a milestone for the cooperation between Tencent and ByteDance, two of China’s largest internet giants, in the field of gaming, where they have been locked in fierce competition and legal disputes for years.

The rivalry between Tencent and ByteDance, dubbed the “Dytedance-Tencent War”, dates back to 2018, when the two companies clashed over social media, video and gaming. According to media reports, Tencent and ByteDance were involved in 487 lawsuits in 2018 alone.

Tencent, the undisputed leader in China’s gaming market, has been accused of blocking links and content from ByteDance’s products on its popular social apps WeChat and QQ, while ByteDance has been trying to challenge Tencent’s dominance by investing heavily in its own gaming division.

However, the situation changed in 2021, when China’s regulators stepped in to promote the openness and interconnection of internet platforms, and to crack down on monopolistic practices that harm user rights and stifle innovation. In September 2021, WeChat partially lifted its ban on external links, allowing users to access content from ByteDance’s apps.

Since then, Tencent and ByteDance have shown signs of thawing their relations and exploring cooperation in various fields. In April 2021, Tencent Video and Douyin announced a partnership that would allow Douyin users to access and create short videos based on Tencent’s long video content, such as TV dramas and variety shows.

And now, Tencent’s most profitable and popular IP, “Honor of Kings”, will return to Douyin’s live streaming platform, after being banned for nearly five years. This is expected to bring huge benefits to both parties, as Douyin boasts a massive user base and a vibrant gaming live streaming ecosystem, while “Honor of Kings” can leverage Douyin’s natural traffic to attract more players and revenue.

Some analysts believe that the cooperation between Tencent and ByteDance will create a new industrial model that combines entertainment, social and transactional attributes, and that will enhance the resource efficiency and business performance of both sides, as well as create more value for society.

Editor: Alexander