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Users Discover Misleading Search Results for Dental Hospitals on Baidu

Sina Tech, 8/14/17

Users are reportedly encountering fake advertisements when searching for dental hospitals on Chinese internet company Baidu's (Nasdaq: BIDU) search engine, according to several reports in Chinese news media. One of the dental hospitals involved, Rytime Dental, issued an announcement warning that searching for "Rytime Dental Hospital" on Baidu will bring up links to other medical organizations posing as Rytime Dental. Patients who click on these links will not be taken to Rytime Dental's official website, but rather to another medical institution's site.

Since this matter was exposed by users on Chinese microblogging platform Weibo, Baidu's marketing services department has adjusted the search results, and the ads have been removed.

According to Sina Tech, when searching for dental hospitals on Baidu.com or Baidu's mobile app, three to five of the top search results are ads recommending hospitals that have nothing to do with the hospital searched for.

Another Weibo user also reported that Baidu search could have a problem with leaking user information. This user claims that after performing a Baidu search about not feeling well, the user received a telemarketing phone call from a person claiming to be a hospital staff member.

Keywords: online advertising online healthcare Internet Baidu BIDU online search mobile search wireless scandal

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