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China crisis: Baidu apologises for SEO insurgents

TAGs: Baidu, China crackdown

Good cop, Badui cop

As the crackdown on internet gambling companies continues in China, here is an article translated from the original piece on ifeng.com that was published recently. Online gambling website Baidu has released an apology following the arrests of two employees charged with illegally organising SEO for the company.

Internet firm Baidu apologises for SEO employees malpractice

July 12, 2010
The FIFA World Cup seen Baidu hit the headlines again after two of the firm’s employees were arrested for providing SEO for the gambling website. This case featured in Top 10 cases of the online gambling clampdown.

How to link to the gambling website with “Baidu SEO”?
The government said that when the police were investigating the case of “777 real casino”, they discovered that Mr Wang [the gambling website’s owner] had transferred large sums of money into the bank accounts of the two members of staff. The website owner claims that the money was an advertising fee payment for Baidu, and not SEO returns.

The police, meanwhile, allege that the two individuals started the [SEO] business in 2009, transferring gambling SEO business from Guangzhou to their own company, and promoting Baidu. They pair are said to have received the returns received 100,000 RMB and 450,000 RMB respectively from the website owner.

At July 11, 2010
Baidu released the following announcement: This case is a result of the behaviour of two individuals and we are very sorry that members of our staff violated national law. Baidu has always obeyed out country’s laws and regulations and we strongly oppose the behaviour of those who use the internet to engage in criminal activity.

SEO specialists: 600,000 RMB pay-out, a big deal for Baidu
“Sex, drugs, gambling” are criminal internet searches forbidden by our government. Usually, major deals will be investigated by company management, but Baidu staff members took on the promotion of the gambling website because the rewards were so high and because they could expolit disorganisation within the internal management of the company.

If you are a first-time registered customer on Baidu, you have to pay 5,600 RMB as a first deposit, 5,000 MB of which is deposited in advance; 600 of which is the service fee. Once up and running, the customer can choose the keyword plan by himself. When a searcher clicks on the cutomer’s promotion link, Baidu receives money from the advance deposit. Every click price is thus determined by the customer, so if the customer formulates a higher price, Baidu earns more money per click.

The public security ministry has announced that so far it has already blocked 1,461 gambling websites.

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