Baidu’s Search Methodology Controversy Gets Heated Up as CCTV Steps In. (Updated with Videos)

When the Sanlu scandal was first revealed two months ago, it was rumored that China’s search engine giant, Baidu accepted 3 million RMB from Sanlu to block out search results that consist negative images of the notorious milk company. Since then, Baidu has become a target of online criticisms. Recently, a sales plan leaked from the inside validifies the claim that Baidu does try to manipulate and censor search results for commercial purposes.  The company is now also facing an anti-monopoly lawsuit from Qmyyw.com, a website established by a Hebei medicine company. Originally published in tianya, a post reveals two screenshots of a sales plan ppt that Baidu offers to some car company. The screenshots show that Baidu provides value-added services that offer PR protections such as deletion of negative news, blockout of search links, and manipulation of topics in Baidu tieba (Baidu Post Bar). The original ppt can be founded here (part1) and here (part 2). Also from StreetInsider.com, Baidu.com (Nasdaq: BIDU) will face a RMB174.4 million lawsuit for manipulating its search results for medical information site www.qmyyw.com. Qmyyw.com’s suit claims that Baidu search results now exclude Qmyyw.com’s content following the company’s reduction in its payment for Baidu’s bid ranking service. Citing reports from the Southern Metropolis Weekly, the rumor points out that Qmyyw.com purchased a number 3 spot on Baidu’s site for RM89,000 in March, but after the site lowered its payment in July, its visits fell from over 88,000 hits to 18,340 hits in just a month. Baidu has now claimed that its “search results are not influenced by its bid ranking service”. The “ranking bid” search methodology has long been controversial.  According to Jiefang Daily (in Chinese), the Hebei provincial government once offered 5600 RMB “bidding fee” to Baidu to put the government website on the ...
« Back to Article

4 Responses to Baidu’s Search Methodology Controversy Gets Heated Up as CCTV Steps In. (Updated with Videos)

  1. Felix says:

    Until Baidu AND China can elininate these kinds of dishonest dealings, there will always be a problem of suspicion and collusion within china. Too many are willing to “be on the take.” Is it a culturally ingrained process. Sad.

  2. Fer Vazquez says:

    First, very good article.
    Baidu’s guanxi is going through a historical low. I really wonder what is the common point for that many Chinese Internet brands to fight against Baidu.
    Main reason I can think of is that they have abused of their strong market position and made angry some important people.
    That important people in China has very close relationships with even more important people… and they all decided to change the rules?

  3. […] to China Digital Times,  ” st1:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } <!– /* Font Definitions */ @font-face […]

  4. […] Nov. 2008, CCTV exposed a series of reports on Baidu’s ranking bid scandal. Baidu’s share price dropped significantly afterward, and the company has become a target of […]