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People's Daily Online>>China Business

PR firms cash in on Web comment deletion

By Li Yao (China Daily)

09:35, March 15, 2012

Companies manipulate posts that make corporate clients look bad

Online public relations companies have made a profitable business of erasing complaints and posting favorable comments on websites for their corporate clients, particularly as the griping picked up with the approach of World Consumer Rights Day on Thursday.

At no time of the year is the service more appreciated. Some companies, facing criticism and negative media exposure, are eager to buy silence as well as to avoid the attention of quality inspection authorities, trying to avoid being disgraced nationwide for violating consumer rights.

Zhou Wei from Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, is the person behind the PR Pioneer Network website. His service is available to clients nationwide. The word used most often on Zhou's website is "delete", in reference to contents on various websites, including video-sharing sites such as tudou.com, blogs and micro blogs, social networking sites and bulletin board systems.

"We can also handle micro blog messages on major portals such as Sina, QQ and 163.com. Removing one post and the responses to it costs about 1,000 yuan ($158). If there are enormous responses and followers, we charge more," Zhou said.

Zhou spoke vaguely about people at various websites who work for him and are authorized to make deletions and postings, calling them "channels" of his company.


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