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China: Baidu's new scandal.

CCTV reported that Baidu, referred to as China's Google, had accepted money from illegal medical companies and placed their Web links on top of search results. Baidu’s marketing employees were also reported to have the knowledge of these.The service is called page-rank bid and accounts for more than 80% of the company’s revenue. The company’s business model, “which inserts ads in the natural search result without notice, has long been criticized for destroying the integrity of the search engine,” adds China Daily.On previous milk scandal, Baidu was said to have censored news in exchange for payment from dairy companies, said ChinaSmack. CCTV reports page-rank bid of Baidu. The price of Baidu has lost 37.5 percent after the state TV reports that companies, including unlicensed medical firms and hospitals, pay Baidu in order to appear around the top of keyword search results. However, Beijing News viewed CCTV's reports from another aspect:


Sometimes it's hard for CCTV or Baidu to pick out illegal companies because of their “excellent camouflages”. In a sense, CCTV's action to expose Baidu actually reflects their market share competition. Before Baidu grew into a search giant, traditional media like CCTV controlled a large share of the ad market, while as the internet thrived, shares were reallocated. Therefore, CCTV's intention to expose Baidu's scandal is easy to understand in two ways: first, as a media, CCTV is under “obligation” to expose information. Second, CCTV can reduce the credibility of its competitor in order to fight for more market share.

After CCTV reports, Baidu unveiled its response quickly in a conference call with analysts last night and promised to design a new system that more clearly separates its paid links from ordinary search results.China Journalreports.

“We are doing this because we care. It is important to us. We want to be a responsible corporate citizen,” said Baidu chief executive Robin Li.

Tianya blogger 阿杜在线 calls for regulations to supervise powerful companies like Baidu.


Only unilateral power can lead to the monopoly status that enables the company to obtain the monopolized right of say and pricing, and have the strength to screen what it dislikes. But the occurrence of such  power is inevitable, so there should be more supervision of the media and restrictions by relevant laws and regulations.

常平changping has another comment.


Many websites starts from pure business. Although they have always played a major role in publishing information and organizing discussions, they seldom take the responsibility of traditional media but more focus on simpy running their business.

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