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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Consumer websites paid by dishonest firms (2)

By Xu Chi  (Shanghai Daily)

08:57, March 16, 2012

According to The Beijing News, hundreds of such websites are doing business across the country. It was revealed that each website may earn tens of thousands of yuan per day. No Chinese law states that this practice is illegal.

But the websites are not the only ones turning consumer fury into money, as a lot of so-called "network public relations" companies are competing to share the profits.

They offer special services to other companies to delete consumers' complaints or even negative news reports by using their relationships with webmasters at websites, or by hacking.

"You pay me 800 yuan and I will talk to the website to delete the complaint immediately. If it dare blackmail you again, we will launch the attack," said an official with Beijing CITIC Networks, one such company, when the reporter asked it for help.

The "attack" means hacking into the website's server and taking the site down, which is illegal.

In a recent case, a man running one such company was detained by Shanghai police after he hired a hacker to attack a popular website, shutting it down for four days and causing it to lose over 40,000 yuan in advertising income.

The man, surnamed Liu, attacked the website with 1.64 million registered users in a bid to threaten it to delete a negative piece of information about his client. He charged 23,000 yuan from the client for the service, police said.

【1】 【2】

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