Tingyi, which has a market value of $14.8 billion, accounts for 44.1 percent of sales volume in China's noodle market, while noodle revenues comprised 36.75 percent of its total revenue in the first half, compared with 30.9 percent for Uni-President.
The giveaway campaign did help the smaller Uni-President increase its share of the instant noodle market in China, which climbed 1.8 percentage points to 16.9 percent in the first half of this year compared with the same period in 2012.
But operating margins for Uni-President's instant noodle segment fell to negative 1.6 percent in the first half of 2013, from 5 percent in the same period last year, according to company data and Reuters' calculations, as the extra marketing costs of the "noodle war" weighed.
Tingyi, a partner of PepsiCo in China, also saw some erosion to its operating margins, which slipped to 10.9 percent in the first half of 2013 from 11.8 percent for the same period in 2012.
Pickled cabbage fight
Whilst Uni-President is pulling back for now, analyst Nice Wang at Yuanta Securities in Shanghai said the price battle may not be over, because Tingyi could still respond aggressively.
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"I think there is a possibility of continued competition because Uni-President will stop its free sausage promotion in the fourth quarter, so we can still wait and see what Tingyi will do in the fourth quarter," said Wang.
Tingyi Chief Financial Officer Frank Lin told Reuters by email that statements from its rival over recent months had left it unsure whether the price battle would continue.
"I think not only the investors but also our management team are really confused with the message," he said.
Uni-President did not respond to repeated telephone and email requests for comment.
Among the most competitive products is pickled cabbage and beef noodles, with Uni-President's Lao Tan variety accounting for around 55 percent of the market for pickled vegetable flavors in China.
Tingyi has said it will not stop its price war until its share of pickled cabbage noodles exceeds that of Uni-President, according to Greg Gong, an analyst at CIMB in Shanghai.
Shares in both companies have fallen as the noodle war dragged on, although valuations remain rich.
Uni-President's stock, which had outperformed Tingyi and the benchmark Hang Seng Index in the first quarter of this year, is now down more than 1.2 percent year-to-date.
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Tingyi's stock has dropped 8.5 percent over that period, lagging a 1.7 percent gain for the benchmark index.
Still, Tingyi's shares are trading at nearly 29 times forward earnings, a 10.9 percent premium to its historical median, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine.
Uni-President, which has a market value of $3.8 billion, trades at 27 times forward earnings, a 34.5 percent premium to its historical median, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine.
That compares with an average 20 times forward earnings that MSCI China consumer staples are trading at, on an absolute basis, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data.