Singtao Daily’s integrated report: “Three staff members of Baidu, the well-known Chinese search engine, were placed under criminal detention by Beijing police for deleting unfavourable posts (articles published on the Internet by web users) after taking payments. They were suspected to have committed the crime of non-government workers taking bribes.
“‘Paid deletion of posts is a common practice in the industry,’ said Mr. Tang of a well-known Internet public relation company in Beijing to The Beijing News yesterday. Over the past few years, there have emerged quite a few web marketing companies (or individuals) that rely entirely on deletion of posts for their profits.
They have announced to outsiders that they are able to delete ‘unfavourable web posts’ for their clients and they all have direct relations of interest with staff members of large websites. A person or company who needs to delete an ‘unfavourable post’ has to pay a few hundred to one thousand yuan of Renminbi (1 yuan = US$0.157), then the web marketing company will contact a staff member of the website concerned to delete the post secretly.
“Management of Baidu confirmed the day before yesterday that the company had recently issued an e-mail circular to its staff on several cases of serious contravention of rules and discipline and even suspected crimes. Certain staff members of the Community Search Department, Sun and Xu by name, and a staff member of the Public Affairs Department, named Lu by, colluded with outsiders to commit paid deletion of posts.
They were respectively placed under criminal detention by Beijing police for the suspected crime of non-government workers taking bribes. At the same time, a staff member named Guo, of the Knowledge Search Department, intended to receive payments for deletion of posts, but failed due to discovery by the company.
“The circular says that according to company rules, the company has terminated its employment contracts with Sun, Xu, Lu and Guo and judicial procedures have already started for those cases. The company will crack down severely on paid deletion of posts and other illegal activities jointly with the public security organs, and strictly eliminate loopholes in its system, rules and regulations.”
- Baidu’s crackdown on post-deleting deals (wantchinatimes.com)
- Baidu employees arrested over forum post deletions (slashgear.com)
- Chinese censors can’t hide deleted Weibo posts (chinadailymail.com)
- China Weibo can’t handle the truth (chinadailymail.com)
- The Anonymous Chinese blogger and the Jasmine revolution (chinadailymail.com)