Thursday, November 20, 2008

Baidu lambasted for boosting rankings of dodgy medical suppliers

On the search engine front the big story in China is that Baidu which has been wiping the floor with Google, has suffered another dent in its reputation. From AP via Findlaw:

" has been the star of China's Internet world. But now the search engine dubbed "China's Google" is scrambling to rescue its reputation after state TV accused it of letting unlicensed suppliers of medical products pay for higher rankings on its results page - without alerting users. Inc.'s U.S. shares have plunged this week, including a 30 percent drop Monday, since the weekend TV report. Baidu says it has suspended thousands of merchants from its paid-search service but says it broke no law.

It is a big setback for Baidu, which enjoyed a long winning streak after its 2002 launch, with profits up 91 percent in the latest quarter and a 60 percent market share, far ahead of Google Inc.'s Chinese site. The new accusations are explosive at a time of public outrage in China over a string of deaths blamed on tainted milk, shoddy medicines and other faulty products."

The music industry won't be at all displeased about the company's negative publicity since they are currently suing Baidu, claiming its music search service is directing users to pirate websites.

No comments: