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Chinese search engine operators fined for false internet ads

     
1:27 am on Mar 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/tech/2017-03/09/content_28497214.htm [chinadaily.com.cn]

Chinese search engine operators fined for false internet ads

China's two leading search engine operators, Baidu and Sogou, were fined on Thursday for their negligence in publishing unchecked advertising for unlicensed medical services and private companies.

The fines were issued by the Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Bureau on charges of publishing false and illegal advertisements.

Baidu was fined 28,000 yuan (about $4,000) as it linked commercial ads of private hospital groups with certain key word searches, which pointed to medical services that the hospitals are not qualified for.

The hospitals were also given fines of up to 46,000 yuan.

Sogou was fined 10,300 yuan for carrying an advertisement containing false messages and for a company whose business license had been revoked.
5:05 pm on Mar 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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You actually read China Daily? You are a rare breed!
7:14 pm on Mar 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@TorontoBoy: some of us have China targeted sites so Chinese news from a variety of sources is a business requirement. As a unilingual English speaker I am restricted to English language offerings; however, a couple of native Chinese speakers translate from a broader spectrum and pass on what they consider pertinent.

While the amounts are barely pocket change the fact of fining is interesting and the fact of fining the advertiser more is fascinating. An excellent model for cleaning up the cesspool that is 'western' third party advertising.
8:26 pm on Mar 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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While the amounts are barely pocket change

That was my reaction too. Sure, Baidu isn't Google--nobody is--but $4000 (even assuming that means exchange rate, not buying power) puts them in "Where's that flyswatter?" territory.

Absurdly low fines can sometimes be worse-than-useless, because it means some governmental agency can point and say “Look! We’re taking action” without having any effect on anyone. Now, if I start reading about top Baidu executives being sentenced to death, then I’ll sit up and pay attention.
8:40 pm on Mar 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I am bilingual English Mandarin and target my site to the Chinese search engines. I often write content in bilingual English and Chinese and also have a Google translate widget which cna translate my whole site into Chinese (crudely I assure you, but it is fast). While Baidu, Sogou, Tencent and others do regularly index my site. when I search for my own content from their search engine I am always very disappointed because the vast majority of my content is not available. I tried to register for Baidu webmaster and required a Chinese email address, which I have, but then they required a Mainland phone number to verify, something which I do not have.

I have read, and I believe that Chinese search engines bias towards content hosted on Mainland servers that is predominantly written in Chinese. From using Baidu and Sogou I believe this to be true. I wonder if you have had better sucess with these search engines, and how. Have you searched and checked for your content after verifying that their bot has indexed your site?

All of China's search engines are part of their Great Firewall program, so there is certainly government influence.

And for the record I every so often read China Daily, but usually it is just more Chinaganda. This fine is surprising, given that there is so much physical copyright infringement in China. Even potato chip manufacturers get cloned by their competitors! I want to say the fine sounds more like an appeasement to Western views than an actual sanction on these search engines.

62,029 RMB is the average Chinese wage in 2015. The fine is 45% of the salary of an average Chinese worker. [tradingeconomics.com...]

For a huge conglomerate like Baidu to be fined less than half of a year's salary of a Chinese worker is...laughable.
10:19 pm on Mar 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@TorontoBoy: My sites were originally in English, then translated into French (I'm Canadian!) and then Spanish. Being unilingual English all translations were double blind into F/S by one and from F/S back into English to confirm appropriateness, colloquialness et al. On selling out of one niche some years back I decided to have fun and began on what I call my Great Chinese Adventure following the same translation procedure; very expensive but, imo, quite necessary.

The greatest hurdle, even more so than with F/S, is the number of spoken dialects. My multi-media includes have been dubbed into seven for China: Standard Mandarin, Cantonese, Gan, Hakka, Min, Shanghainese, and Xiang. All I can say is thank goodness for the varied Chinese population in Canada and the relative inexpensiveness of university students!

I started with three managed dedicated servers: Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai. Last year added three more: Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu.
Note: the reason for the number and dispersal of servers within China is (1) speed - faster within 'the great wall' than even from Hong Kong, and (2) speed. Every millisecond above a half second loses revenue.
Sites use Simplified Chinese characters.
Legal presence is a convenience address at a Shanghai lawyer's office.
Have Internet Content Publishing (ICP) license.
Sites hosted on China servers use cn domains, Singapore servers: sg domains, Hong Kong: hk domains.
Note: domain names are identical, just cctld that differs on location.

I am fully indexed on Baidu and Haosou, fairly well on Sogou, although mostly sitting on third to tenth page of query return except for an occasional Sina Weibo (or similar) mention/link that boosts page to first or second page. On fourth page of Baidu I get the equivalent traffic as Google first page for given query. Population is numbers!

Note: my revenue streams are direct ad sales and affiliate pre-sell. Outside of China 5-10% is AdSense (used to be 90%+).
12:04 am on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Oh My, you are all into the Chinese experience. Multiple Mainland servers. I'm unsure why you needed to translate into local dialects, as Mandarin is pretty universally understood on the Mainland. It is also law that all public school education is done in Mandarin. Is all your work worthwhile?

LOL third to tenth page? Maybe I'll lower my standards of first to third page on Google. I'll look into getting the Haosou crawler to visit my site. They only visit once in a while.
12:21 am on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Baidu isn't Google--nobody is
Don't underestimate Baidu. Google controls roughly 67.5 percent of U.S. based search queries while Baidu controls 80 percent of China's search queries.