China Business News, 8/19/11
According to a source within China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), relevant MIIT departments have drafted new regulations for the online search industry, including restrictions that would affect Chinese internet company Baidu's (Nasdaq: BIDU) paid search rankings. MIIT is currently seeking feedback on the regulations, according the source, and has no timetable set for implementation.
MIIT has reportedly been assessing search engine companies since as early as 2009 in order to accelerate the development of legal oversight mechanisms, but has yet to implement any such regulations.
According to the source, MIIT's next step will be to implement its new policies, which will include restrictions on paid search advertising like Baidu's. "MIIT did not draft the new regulations in response to the current controversy over Baidu," said the source, "but it's directly applicable."