The Cyber Administration of China (CAC) regulator of digital services, is reported to be investigated Chinese media giant Baidu regarding the advertising of illegal gambling sites on its search engine listings.
Chinese governmental concerns have arisen following numerous cases of illegal online gambling and betting operators being promoted on Baidu listings, breaching national gambling laws.
Baidu, China’s largest search engine has stated that its advertising standards had been breached by gambling advertisers who created ‘fake advertising accounts’ which would promote betting services at night targeting Chinese sports consumers.
Baidu management stated that it had immediately contacted authorities regarding the illegal advertising and that the company would continue to improve its ‘anti-cheating’ system monitoring advertising on its network.
Although unconfirmed, various Chinese news sources have reported that a number of Baidu employees have been questioned by police with regards to aiding the advertising of gambling websites.
This is the latest advertising scandal to hit the NASDAQ-listed search operator, who in May had to face intense media scrutiny for its advertising of fake private hospitals and clinics, following the death of a 21-year old student.
CAC officials have stated that Baidu and its advertising breaches will be investigated thoroughly with its findings expected to be published in due course.