Baidu promises crackdown on Internet content

13:35, December 18, 2010      

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China's largest search engine Baidu Inc plans to invest up to 100 million yuan ($15 million) to fight illegal web content, as part of its efforts to join with the government to crack down on illegal activities online.

Baidu on Friday launched a project with the China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Centre to identify and remove illegal content on websites.

"Baidu, as a search engine, deals with the greatest amount of data in the world, and some lawbreakers take advantage of this fact to transmit illegal information," said Shen Haoyu, the company's senior vice-president of business operations. "We have been making efforts to knock down this kind of activity."

Baidu's move came after it was involved in a lawsuit with a house-removal company in Shanghai. The latter alleged that Baidu did not filter links of counterfeit companies, which advertise on the search engine's keyword advertising system, even though it had been asked to do so.

The company will mainly use the 100 million yuan to upgrade its technology and intensify online information supervision. It said 200 people are currently employed to monitor information and deal with complaints.

Baidu will also set up a 10-million yuan fund to educate people about safe use of the Internet. "We will focus on fighting violence, fraudulent claims for medical products, and other dishonest content," said Shen.

He added that Baidu has filtered more than 10 million websites containing illegal information over the past 11 months.

"We hope to double the number of illegal websites we identify and filter next year," he said.

China has been making greater efforts to manage Internet information in recent years, especially that related to pornography and violence, and fake medication, as complaints have risen.

Nine ministries carried out a special check from December 2009 to May 2010 to fight pornographic and vulgar information on the Internet. A large number of websites containing illegal content were shut down as a result.

Source: China Daily
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