Baidu recently sued 5 company advertisers for conducting fraud activities after online promotion on Baidu.com. Beijing Haidian District Court has accepted the cases. The 5 companies include 3 logistic companies and 2 ticket companies.
Baidu claimed that the 5 companies conducted fraudulent activities off-line although they all provided true and qualified documents when contracting Baidu for promoting their business on Baidu.com. Baidu has received complaints from third parties and offered financial compensations to the victims per Baidu's Warranty Plan regarding the advertisements on Baidu.com. The 5 companies' activities not only jeopardized the interests of Baidu search engine users, but also blemish the social reputation of Baidu.
May be in relevance to Baidu's enhanced administration on search engine advertising, earlier this year, Shanghai AIC's 2017 first batch of released cases regarding false advertising include one against Baidu Shanghai as well. In that case, Baidu.com failed to perform its examination on the qualification of advertisers and published a series of medical institute advertisements that are not approved by the relevant administrative authorities. In addition, Baidu also provided key word search advertising for these medical institutes but the linked medical services turned out to be the ones that the medical institutes are not qualified to provide. Baidu was fined RMB 28,000 (around USD 4,200) in that case.
Key word advertising and other advertising on search engines are categorized as internet advertising per the Provisional Measures for Administration of Internet Advertising took effective on September 1, 2016. The search engines are publishers of internet advertising and therefore bear the obligation to prevent and takedown false internet adverting.