Baidu Map vows to end sex busi­ness trick

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA -

a fine of up to 5,000 yuan ($749).

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, un­der­ground en­ter­tain­ment venues regis­tered fake lo­ca­tions on Baidu Map to avoid the po­lice. If po­lice go to the mapped lo­ca­tion, they will find noth­ing.

The venues leave valid mo­bile phone num­bers for cus­tomers to make con­tact. When cus­tomers call, they are given an­other ad­dress where sex ser­vices are avail­able.

“A thor­ough ex­am­i­na­tion was car­ried out im­me­di­ately af­ter we learned of the me­dia re­ports and we re­moved all the POIs in ques­tion,” said Baidu Map in a state­ment on Wed­nes­day.

Peo­ple usu­ally search for a place on the map and use the nav­i­ga­tion ser­vice to reach it. Baidu Map charges a fee to push an en­tity to the top of a long list of a search re­sult.

The re­port by Le­gal Daily cited an uniden­ti­fied pimp as say­ing that one search op­ti­miza­tion costs be­tween dozens of yuan and a few hun­dred based on where it falls in the list.

The venue the pimp worked for paid Baidu Map 20,000 yuan ev­ery month for the op­ti­mized search re­sult, the re­port said.

The re­port was pub­lished one year af­ter a na­tional de­bate over an­other Baidu busi­ness pro­mo­tion model. A 21-year-old com­puter sci­ence stu­dent with cancer died in April last year af­ter un­der­go­ing an ex­per­i­men­tal ther­apy that was heav­ily pro­moted by Baidu, China’s lead­ing in­ter­net search en­gine. Baidu has about a 70-per­cent share of the Chi­nese search-en­gine mar­ket.

Although there is no sug­ges­tion that the stu­dent’s death was caused or ac­cel­er­ated by the treat­ment he re­ceived, it was later re­vealed to be an ex­per­i­men­tal pro­ce­dure that was not cleared for clin­i­cal use.

The Cy­berspace Ad­min­is­tra­tion of China, the in­ter­net watch­dog, in­ves­ti­gated the stu­dent’s death and re­leased a state­ment in May last year de­mand­ing that Baidu re­struc­ture its listing ser­vices.

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