The mainland’s internet watchdog has ordered Baidu to rectify its operating procedures after the death of a student who used it to search for cancer treatments.
The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) launched an investigation into Baidu after Wei Zexi, 21, sought treatment for his rare form of cancer at a hospital that topped his search on Baidu.
Wei and his family paid 200,000 yuan (HK240,000) for the treatment at a hospital run by China’s paramilitary police, but he could not be saved.
Doctors say the immunotherapy treatment Wei received is still in the experimental stages. The CAC’s investigation found the search engine’s business model – which allows advertisers who pay more to be featured more prominently in search results – had affected Wei’s choice of treatment.
Baidu’s operating procedures should be rectified, and sponsored links should not account for more than 30 per cent of the search results displayed on a page, the CAC said… see more