Tencent Publishes 2023 Weixin Brand Protection Platform (BPP) Report

The Weixin Brand Protection Platform Report outlines enhancements and recent actions to strengthen its BPP Program, helping further protect intellectual property rights on Weixin.

SHENZHEN, China, April 17, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Tencent today released its 2023 Weixin Brand Protection Report, summarizing continued advancements in protecting intellectual property (IP) rights and safeguarding the service against illicit activity in violation of Weixin's policies, including the advertising or offer for sale of counterfeit goods. 

Weixin is a unique, multifaceted communication service that bridges private and public features like direct messaging, group chats, Official Accounts, and third-party Mini-Programs. Many of the world's leading brands not only collaborate with Weixin through its Brand Protection Platform (BPP) but also choose Weixin as a vital channel for engaging directly with consumers, demonstrating the dual value Weixin offers for protection and connection. The Report demonstrates Weixin's use of innovative solutions, increased proactive measures, and enhanced enforcement to help minimize and deter prohibited activity across private and public features. These actions have helped reduce the misuse of Weixin by bad actors.

By increasing the amount of public content reviewed proactively, escalating penalties for accounts found to have engaged in counterfeiting, and providing transparent information to brands, Weixin has significantly strengthened its IP enforcement efforts.

These changes follow constructive conversations with brands and industry stakeholders, and exhibit an ongoing commitment from Weixin to work with brands and other stakeholders to counter IP infringement.

"2023 was a pivotal year in our ongoing efforts to protect brands and Weixin users," said Danny Marti, Head of Global Public Policy, Tencent. "We are continuing to strengthen the BPP program every year by expanding proactive measures, generating higher-quality crowd-sourced reporting from users within private and public features, enhancing transparency — including launching Channels ID numbers to facilitate investigations and reporting — and increasing online as well as offline enforcement alongside higher penalties. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with partners and other stakeholders on these important issues as part of our longstanding commitment to IP protection." 

Highlights from 2023 

The Brand Protection Platform Report highlights significant progress in three important areas: 1) creation of an efficient one-stop portal for IP rights owners to access, submit and review user leads, takedown notices, and enforcement metrics across personal accounts, Channels, Official Accounts, and Mini-Programs; 2) strengthened proactive interception of trademarks and keywords during account registrations, name-change attempts, and advertisements; and 3) establishment of an innovative crowd-sourced reporting system empowering users to report violations occurring within private features.

Weixin's BPP provides tools and solutions to minimize the advertising and sale of counterfeit products, acting as a one-stop portal for IPR enforcement across Weixin features. Membership in the BPP grew 10 percent over the past year, with the system now supporting over 570 brands from more than two dozen countries, covering over 30 different industries.

To support a more proactive enforcement environment, Weixin teams now manage a database for Channels containing 30,000 trademark keywords (up 1,000 from the previous year) and a database containing 29,000 trademark keywords for Official Accounts and Mini-Programs (up 2,000 from the previous year). These proactive measures have blocked an average of 5,200+ and 11,500+ suspicious account registrations or name-change attempts across Channels and Official Accounts + Mini Programs, respectively.

To support enhanced reporting and enforcement measures within private features, the Weixin service provides robust user-generated crowd-sourced reporting tools to identify suspected counterfeiting activity. These crowd-sourced "leads" are shared with BPP members and serve as a signal to all users that illicit activity, even within private features, is prohibited and subject to appropriate action. Over the past year, Weixin has continued to enhance the user-generated reporting system, ensuring that appropriate penalties are implemented. Approximately 97 percent of enforcement within private features in 2023 originated from Weixin's user reporting system, as compared with brand-initiated reports.

Other Notable Developments in 2023 Included: 

Improved User Reporting Mechanism for Chats and Moments: Much of the communication on Weixin takes place within private features — one-on-one chats, group chats, Moments -- the platform relies heavily on users to report counterfeiting activity. Weixin has continued to make reporting as easy as possible for users while also improving the quality of the reports shared with brands to facilitate efficient reviews. In 2023, Weixin's user-generated reporting system produced nearly 190,000 leads, 67 percent of which were reviewed by brands (compared with 38 percent in 2020), demonstrating the increased effectiveness and value of the system.

Enhanced Transparency Measures to Empower Brands: Weixin continued to implement greater transparency and tracking measures so that brands have better visibility on enforcement. For example, brands can now see the level of penalties imposed upon infringers, and Channel ID numbers for all Channels accounts to facilitate investigations.

Stronger Support for Offline Enforcement: Weixin has increased its collaboration with brand owners and legal authorities to pursue offline IP enforcement. Last year it supported 24 criminal cases representing $260 million in value (compared with $42 million in 2022). The number of offline cases pursued also increased ten-fold as compared to 2021.

To view the full Tencent Weixin Brand Protection Platform Report, please visit: https://static.www.tencent.com/attachments/reports/tencent_bpp_report_2023.pdf.

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SOURCE Tencent

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