Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Baidipulation...all's fair in war and the Internet in China

Interesting piece on the China Web 2.0 Review talking about Baidu's inadvertent admission that it manipulates site rankings. It seems that Branding Director Peter Wang wanted to punish Sohu and Sina by 'demoting' them in the Baidu rankings for writing nasty things about Baidu (no link, see - my way of expressing my disapproval). According to Fons Tuinstra, Wang has paid the price for his indiscretion by having to offer his resignation.

The competitive environment in China is certainly heating up across the media. We have seen several media companies this year using China's messy regulatory environment for print media as a competitive weapon; reporting competitors to the authorities for alleged transgressions of publishing laws. At best, this can result in time-consuming investigations and, at worst, the closure of long-standing businesses.

Update: Meanwhile, China Tech Stories reports that Baidu and Microsoft started promoting joint search services on 14th December.

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