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Breaking Baidu's monopoly would help curb selling of search rankings

( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-05-03 08:13:16

BAIDU, THE WEB SERVICE COMPANY behind China's leading search engine, is facing a storm of netizen criticism after the death last month of Wei Zexi, a 21-year-old man who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Searching for a hospital that could help him on Baidu, Wei was guided to a hospital in Beijing that reportedly provided him with expensive treatment that it had allegedly misrepresented. It is Baidu's virtual monopoly of online searches that is behind such incidents, says Zhang Zhouxiang with China Daily:

Baidu has long been known to mix paid information among its search results, so as to guide users to the websites of those that pay for it to do so. Some who have paid for such "hits" have been found to be involved in fraud and there have been many victims.

As a business, Baidu has prospered. In 2015, Baidu made a profit of about 33 billion yuan ($5.23 billion), and it is said to now enjoy roughly 80 percent of domestic online search market.

Breaking Baidu's monopoly would help curb selling of search rankings

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