Google, Yahoo Tied To Baidu’s Unlicensed Doctor ScandalBy: Doug Caverly - December 11, 2008
Not long ago, China’s top search engine was caught selling high search rankings to unlicensed doctors. The uproar that resulted hurt its reputation, caused earnings estimates to get lowered, and culminated in a personal apology from the CEO. Now, the Chinese arms of Google and Yahoo have been accused of doing something similar.
China Central Television is behind the claims. Since it also broke the Baidu story, the situation looks rather serious. Helping people who sell useless treatments for high prices goes way beyond any "don’t be evil" gray area.
But whether Google and Yahoo have followed precisely in Baidu’s footsteps remains to be seen. A JLM Pacific Epoch article states, "China Central Television’s morning news reported on Thursday that Google China lists links for some unlicensed medical providers at the top of search results and in its right-hand sponsored links section."
Which makes it sound more like the unlicensed docs might simply be buying normal ads. And the matter of what sort screening process should take place there is somewhat up for debate.
If anyone who can understand Chinese would like to chip in, feel free. Otherwise, we’ll direct a hat tip to Eric Savitz and just wait to see what happens.