Chinese microblogging platform Weibo (Nasdaq: WB), a subsidiary of Sina (Nasdaq: SINA), recently announced that it will temporarily close its API to a third-party news platform because it was copying content from Weibo-based independent media accounts without authorization. Weibo intends to protect its rights in accordance with law.
The offending third-party news platform is reportedly Today's Headlines, an online and mobile news platform operated by Bytedance Technology.
Today's Headlines invited some writers on its UGC platform Toutiaohao to participate in beta testing of a Weibo content feature, according to some Toutiaohao contributors. Toutiaohao would provide technical assistance to writers to automatically repost their content from Weibo to Today's Headlines' content creation product Wtoutiao.com. If the writers linked their accounts, the entire automated process would not require an additional login to Weibo for authorization.
According to a Weibo spokesperson, Wtoutiao found a way to get content from Weibo, but the microblogging service is investigating whether that content was acquired through Wtoutiao's technology or from a third-party source. However, Weibo VP Cao Zenghui said in a Weibo post that Today's Headlines effectively hacked Weibo's defenses.
Today's Headlines has declined to comment at this time.