Baidu, China’s own version of China, has said that it will review and overhaul its operations on bumping websites to the top of its search listings after being accused of allowing unlicensed medical services to buy search rankings to win more customers by an investigation done for a state television show this month.
"We have removed the key words of all four clients mentioned in the report and have begun to double-check the licenses of all other hospitals and pharmacies on our client list," CEO Robin Li told the Xinhua news agency. He has also sacked staff over the scandal.
"Baidu employees who are found to have been involved in the scandal will be penalized…We have already fired people who helped fabricate documents for unlicensed suppliers."
According to Reuters, one person told the program that he spent over 10,000 yuan at one clinic that was promoted on Baidu to treat abdominal pain; but instead of curing it, it was ineffective. He was later cured at a public hospital for 100 yuan. That clinic spent only 16.56 yuan, according to the program, to just get a ranking.