Baidu accused of being a monopoly

Baidu.com, China’s leading search engine company, has been accused of being a monopoly by the Tangshan Renren Information Service Company (TRISC) who is demanding more than 1.1 million renminbi (USD $160,000) in compensation. The suit was opened at the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court on April 22, 2009. Baidu refused an out of court settlement based on compensation for TRISC losses. This appears to be the first case filed under the Anti-Monopoly Law, which came into effect this month.

In the meantime Baidu reports increase in advertising spend since late January. It appears that the Chinese economy has recovered in recent months and advertisers are spending more on Baidu according to Robin Li, as told to reporters at the Boao Forum.

“Our data suggests that the confidence of many consumers and companies has been picking up rather rapidly since the Spring Festival,” said Li, referring to the start of the Chinese Lunar New Year, which took place in late January this year. Recently Baidu’s advertising sales had been been affected by the economic slowdown in China as well as being forced to remove paid listings from questionable medical firms.

Source: Reuters, China Daily

David Temple

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