Baidu attacked over delistings


Baidu, China's leading search engine, gets along domestically by remaining ignorant of certain search terms. A group of webmasters have become concerned recently, not over the censorship of sensitive information, but because of what they see as Baidu's strong-arm delisting tactics.

Some webmasters claim that Baidu has delisted websites that turn down an invitation join an Adwords-like listings program, so they have set up an anti-Baidu alliance website, launched on 1 June. The alliance agreement reads:

  1. This alliance is organized to oppose the unfairness of Baidu toward webmasters and netizens at large. This goal of this alliance is to collect evidence of Baidu's unfairness toward webmasters and netizens, and to supervise Baidu along the road to fairness.
  2. This is an alliance organized by netizens. It has not received any support or assistance from any domestic or international company or organization.
  3. Websites joining the alliance may not contain anything prohibited by national law, including illegal and pornographic materials as well as trojan horses and viruses. Once discovered, such websites will be dismissed from the alliance.
At the bottom of the alliance homepage are two more items requiring members to use the alliance logo and prohibiting them from putting Baidu search boxes on their pages.

Baidu explains some of the delistings as mistakes made in the course of a recent attempt to root out scams and link farming.

What does Baidu really think of the Alliance? The first Google hit for the anti-Baidu alliance (反百度同盟) is the alliance homepage. A Baidu search gives only a few related postings commenting on the phenomenon.

- "No Baidu" website of the anti-Baidu alliance
- Baidu and the competetive listings program [Chinese]
- Mirror article [Chinese]
Image of reversed 度 from the Alliance homepage
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