Baidu CEO pledges to keep offering advertising-free search engine app

May 28, 2018
Industry News
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Sarah Dai
sarah.dai@scmp.com

Baidu has scaled back on medical ads after a university student sought out a controversial cancer treatment advertised among search results and died. A subsequent government probe in 2016 found that paid search results on Baidu’s search engine had misled consumers.

Baidu Inc., which has restricted paid advertising after an outcry over medical ads, has pledged to keep offering a mobile search app that is free of sponsored results, according to founder and CEO Robin Li Yanhong.

The Beijing-based company, which operates the leading search engine in China, will keep its Simple Search mobile app free of advertising, Li said on Saturday at the Big Data Expo held in Guiyang, capital of southwestern Guizhou province.

First launched in July last year, Simple Search supports image-scanning and voice-activated search. It can also tailor search to “children’s mode” based on voice characters.

Baidu has scaled back on medical ads after a university student sought out a controversial cancer treatment advertised among search results and died. A subsequent government inquiry in 2016 found that paid search results on Baidu’s search engine had misled consumers. Continue Reading
 

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