Baidu.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU), China’s main search engine, has dismissed four of its staff members over accusations related to post deletion fraud, whereby three of the culprits are reported to have been arrested.
The three employees are accused of having accepted bribes to remove posts from China’s leading search site, Baidu, which consequently prompted their dismissal along with another unnamed employee, reported BBC News. according to the report, the amount involved in the fraud was in estimated to be tens of thousands of the Chinese Yuan, or a few thousand British pounds or U.S dollars.
China has very strict guidelines with regard to internet search, which have barred major search engines from operating in the country. Currently, Baidu.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU) holds the market share in China, with nearly 80% market share in the search engine Industry. In 2010 Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) was banned in China, whereby an attempt to use its search engine resulted in a DNS error.
However, Google has since moved to implement new measures for its users in the Mainland China, and as according to New York Times, the search engine giant has come up with an alert that warns users when they type a search term that is likely to be blocked.
The area of web Censorship is one which Baidu has managed to perfect, and therefore, earns the largest market share. According to Ms Tian Wei of China’s CCTV station, Baidu is committed to internet search censorship, as she is quoted in an email saying, “Baidu has always firmly cracked down on the illegal behaviour of online posts deletion for payment.” And to justify further, according to the email statement sent to BBC, she added:
“Baidu has also proactively reported actions involving illegal behaviour to the public security organs.
“[…] we have established that we will not accept any payment in handling online user complaints.
“Baidu has continuously provided professional ethics education to staff members who are given authority to delete online posts.”
The country’s internet regulation guidelines, otherwise , known as the “Great Firewall”, are mandatory for any company willing to roll out internet services in the country.
The country has even banned Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), indicating how strict the nation is on internet usage.
In 2009, the country also blocked access to Twitter, Flickr, and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Bing, citing censorship issues. Nonetheless, Microsft moved on to connect its search engine Bing with Baidu in 2011.
At the time of this writing, Baidu.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU) (NASDAQ:BIDU)’s stock was trading at $128.25 per share, which is $3.41 up, or 2.73% increase from last week’s close.