The first division case of wechat official account in China: determining the value of official account by 3.4 million people

 The first division case of wechat official account in China: determining the value of official account by 3.4 million people

This is the January 31, 2016 WeChat publics important opinion written in the opening article.

Founded in just one year, the public number has obtained nearly 100 thousand fans of high quality and high consumption, and has launched advertising cooperation with many brands.

Originally, the four agreed to jointly operate and write articles, with the exception of contribution fees, investment promotion fees and other costs sharing profits. However, a person who has applied for an account on behalf of four people has changed the public number and bank card without the consent of the other three people. The three men also issued a statement saying that the account was stolen and then jointly charged, and the other asked for segmentation of the public property.

The case is the first case of WeChat public segmentation.

The surging journalist learned from the second intermediate peoples Court of Shanghai that in November 13th, the court made a final judgment on the case. The public number was valued at 3 million 400 thousand yuan by the comprehensive evaluation. It was decided that Zhao should pay 850 thousand yuan to the other three sponsors and pay the remuneration, dividends and platform income during the cooperation period according to the proportion of the allocated parts identified by the parties.

Friends jointly set up WeChat public number, income distribution caused segmentation contradictions.

With the development of WeChat publics function, it relies on the advantages of large user volume, low cost and precise positioning. Through the brand marketing, advertising agency, small program links and other content output, attracting more and more people into the operation of public numbers.

In January 2016, Zhao and his friends, Yin, yuan and Zhang, in a WeChat group chat, sprouted the idea of jointly establishing a WeChat public number. After deliberation, Zhao established an important opinion WeChat public number in his personal name and opened a bank account as a public account.

During the operation of the public number, Zhao signed negotiations with the branding company on behalf of the public. In addition, she and Yin Mou, Yuan Mou and Zhang Zhang have published articles on the public number separately or jointly. The revenue of the public address mainly includes two parts, advertising copy and merchandise shopping guide. By July 2017, the total number of public accounts involved was more than 300 yuan.

For the operation of the public number, four people will deduct their respective investment fees, contributions and editing fees according to a certain proportion, and then distribute the remaining part of the money in several rooms equally. With the development of the public number, people gradually disagree about this way of distribution.

After the conflict, Zhao changed the password of the public account on July 12, 2017, which caused the dissatisfaction of the other three people. Yin Mou, Yuan Mou, Zhang then appealed to the court, requesting the division of revenue during the joint operation of the public number.

During the case hearing, the three party changed the claim, indicating that if the court found that the partnership was established, it agreed to terminate the partnership. The WeChat public account was operated by Zhao, demanding that Zhao compensate three people for 1 million yuan and divide the business income of the WeChat public number.

So, how many people cooperate to operate WeChat public number is not partnership? Does WeChat public account have independent economic value? How should the entity income and virtual property be divided when one party withdraws from operation?

The court determined that the number was an individual partnership, and each of the three persons had to pay 850000 yuan as compensation

The court of first instance held that although the WeChat public number was special in terms of type of capital contribution, mode of operation, and income structure, the parties concerned negotiated the establishment of the public number involved in the case. They contributed money by writing articles and other labor services, and jointly operated and shared proceeds, which conformed to the characteristics of partnership and established personal partnership. The public number of the case has its own logo, column structure and operation concept, which is different from the operation platform and other network users. It has the characteristics of independence, domination and commercial profit. It belongs to the network virtual property.

During the first instance litigation, the professional evaluation company carried out a value analysis of the WeChat public number involved in the case. It was considered that the market value of the WeChat public account right was 4 million yuan in July 13, 2017.

The court of first instance held that the value of WeChat public is different from that of general assets. Its value depends not only on objective factors, but also on the intelligence and labor cost invested by operators, to a comprehensive consideration of the general situation and development process of WeChat public account, and the comprehensive factors such as the number of fans who have stopped after the litigation. Based on the principle of 3 million 400 thousand yuan, Zhao should take the decision of Zhao to Yin and yuan. Zhang each paid 850000 yuan of discount compensation, and at the same time, according to the distribution proportion of the previously distributed part confirmed by all parties, paid the remuneration, dividends and platform income during the cooperation period.

After the verdict of the first instance, Zhao appealed that the WeChat public number should be owned by him. Yin, yuan and Zhang were only regular contributors to the public number. The parties did not sign a written partnership agreement, and there was no evidence of the establishment of an oral partnership.

Even if a partnership was established, the public number involved in violation of the provisions of the WeChat public platform service agreement on the issue of no advertising should not have legal commercial value, and Zhao Mouyi did not have to pay a discount. The existing income should be allocated rationally according to their respective contributions. Zhao believes that the only one who has been out of production and operated by the public number has a greater contribution and should be at least 70%.

After hearing the case, the second middle court of Shanghai believed that Zhao and Yin, yuan and Zhang were preparing for the establishment of the WeChat public number. They jointly or separately wrote articles published in the public number involved in the case, sharing the password of the special account number of the public account, discussing the way of income distribution, and distributing the actual income in part, including the fact that the income paid by the public number involved in the case is enough to prove the facts. There is an expression of intention to jointly invest in the form of labor services, jointly operate, share profits, and share risks. It has the essential elements of personal partnership and establishes an oral partnership.

Regarding the value of the public number, the independence, domination and value of the operation of the public account are in conformity with the legal attribute of the virtual property and belong to the virtual property. The WeChat public platform service agreement does not require the release of advertising information that disrupts the normal operation of the WeChat public platform. It is a Tencent Inc regulation on the operation of the public platform. It does not prohibit the public number from issuing legitimate commercial advertising information, and does not affect the legal attribute of the virtual property of the public number.

As for the distribution rules, in this case, the investment of all parties in business contact and contribution has been reflected in the form of investment invitation fee and contribution fee, that is, those who have more business contact and contribution will get higher early-stage distribution income correspondingly, and Zhao has no right to ask for the advantage of distribution proportion on the remaining property part in the later period for this reason.

According to this judgment, the court of second instance dismissed the appeal and upheld the original judgment.

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