Feeds

Google China under fire for medical scam ads

Baidu media campaign take two?

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Beijing appears to be expanding its recent crackdown on search engines running medical scam ads to implicating Google China and Yahoo China.

Or it's possibly simply spreading the heat recently placed solely on Baidu, the country's top search engine.

A TV report by the top state-controlled channel, China Central Television, recently faulted Google and Yahoo for taking money from unlicensed medical companies for ads, the Financial Times reports.

The broadcast follows CCTV's criticism against Baidu in November, which ultimately forced the firm to ditch a large portion revenue. CCTV's earlier reports focused on Baidu's "pay-for-placement" ads on its search page, which blend the sponsored links with the natural results its algorithm spits out. Baidu was fingered by CCTV for not only carrying unlicensed medical websites in the ad program, but erasing websites from its results that refused to pay.

The revenue lost by dropping the ads was nothing to sneeze at. After Baidu agreed to stop the practice, the company lowered its fourth quarter 2008 revenue targets by about 14 per cent.

The latest CCTV report, aired on December 11, targets online ads that search engines display on the right-hand side of the screen, according to FT. It alleges ads for unlicensed medicines and treatments are illegal as well — which may or may not be true. The footage in the report appeared to be showcasing Google China's website.

Google told FT it took down the ads highlighted in the CCTV reports and has "strict mechanisms" to remove ads that violate Chinese laws.

If the latest media campaign once again forces the change — or if the government steps in with additional regulations – there could be big implications for search engines doing business in China. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.