It’s easy to think that Google is the world’s dominant search engine, but in China the majority of online searches are made using Baidu. The company has found itself in some hot water, however, after it has been discovered that four employees deleted posts from its forum service after accepting bribes. All four employees have since been fired, and three have been arrested by Chinese police, although it’s not clear exactly what the employees were deleting.
A spokeswoman for Baidu has said that the employees took the equivalent of thousands of pounds in order to delete the posts off the Baidu forums. The company has issued an official statement regarding the matter, saying that it “does not tolerate such behaviour,” and that it will enforce even more “rigorous administration and procedures in managing illegal post deletion”.
Baidu says that this isn’t the first time the company has had to deal with the problem of forum post deletions, although it is the first time the police have had to become involved due to the exchange of money. It seems to be a growing problem in China, as underground markets have been established that promise to delete unwanted forum or blog posts that attract negative attention.
At the end of its statement on the matter, the company says, “We remind the general public that any online information claiming Baidu Postbar accepts payment to delete posts are considered illegal information, amd that the public must guard against such online scams. Baidu will be cooperating with the public security bureau, the industrial and commercial bureau as well as other relevant government organizations in the crackdown of outlaws and illegal behaviour.”