Baidu Inc. is suing fellow internet giants Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Sohu.com Inc. over a spate of articles that purported to expose poor hygiene at restaurants featured on its food delivery service.
Baidu accused Tencent and Sohu of carrying a series of articles defaming its Waimai service earlier this year, according to a notice posted on the official website of Beijing’s Haidian district court. The articles reported, among other things, the washing of vegetables in toilets, according to the court’s notice.
“The plaintiff believes that the article’s content was seriously inaccurate,” according to the posting. “It caused serious adverse effects on the plaintiff’s reputation.”
Baidu declined to comment and referred Bloomberg to the court’s statement. Sohu said it had no immediate comment while Tencent didn’t respond to calls.
Baidu is demanding that Tencent and Sohu suspend and hand over information on social media accounts linked to the reports. It’s seeking compensation and court fees totalling more than 500,000 yuan ($75,136) and a statement of apology to be printed in national newspapers, according to the notice.