China: Student with cancer died after receiving unqualified treatment led by paid-ads on Baidu, criticisms push company to change culture

 

Wei Zexi was a 21-year-old college student diagnosed with cancer. The Baidu (百度) search led Wei to treatment at the Second Hospital of Beijing Armed Police Corps, which turned out to be unsuccessful. The hospital claimed that the treatment was based on collaboration with the Stanford medical school, which was later reported to be a lie. Controversy falls on allowing companies who pay more to appear high on search result rankings, even when such companies may not be qualified to provide the service…

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Author: 王石川,湖南日报

国家网信办会同国家工商总局等组成的联合调查组认定,百度搜索相关关键词竞价排名结果客观上对魏则西选择就医产生了影响,百度竞价排名机制存在付费竞价权重过高、商业推广标识不清等问题,影响了搜索结果的公正性和客观性,容易误导网民,必须立即整改。调查组要求百度立即全面清理整顿医疗类等事关人民群众生命健康安全的商业推广服务,改变竞价排名机制。这是给公众的及时交代,更是百度整改的最佳契机…

…百度董事长李彦宏在向全体员工发出内部信中承认,百度的价值观被挤压变形了,业绩增长凌驾于用户体验,简单经营替代了简 单可依赖,“如果失去了用户的支持,失去了对价值观的坚守,百度离破产就真的只有30天!”…

没有价值观的矫正,惟利是图就难绝迹;没有价值观的重塑,就可能重蹈覆辙。为此,百度整改不能做样子,也不能浅尝辄止,而应该更彻底、常态化。世上没有不犯错的企业,敢于承担责任,才能不断赢得信任,包括百度在内的其他互联网企业也才能赢得新发展。

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Author: 王石川,湖南日報

國家網信辦會同國家工商總局等組成的聯合調查組認定,百度搜索相關關鍵詞競價排名結果客觀上對魏則西選擇就醫產生了影響,百度競價排名機制存在付費競價權重過高、商業推廣標識不清等問題,影響了搜索結果的公正性和客觀性,容易誤導網民,必須立即整改。調查組要求百度立即全面清理整頓醫療類等事關人民群眾生命健康安全的商業推廣服務,改變競價排名機制。這是給公眾的及時交代,更是百度整改的最佳契機…

…百度董事長李彥宏在向全體員工發出內部信中承認,百度的價值觀被擠壓變形了,業績增長凌駕於用戶體驗,簡單經營替代了簡單可依賴,“如果失去了用戶的支持,失去了對價值觀的堅守,百度離破產就真的只有30天!”…

沒有價值觀的矯正,惟利是圖就難絕跡;沒有價值觀的重塑,就可能重蹈覆轍。為此,百度整改不能做樣子,也不能淺嚐輒止,而應該更徹底、常態化。世上沒有不犯錯的企業,敢於承擔責任,才能不斷贏得信任,包括百度在內的其他互聯網企業也才能贏得新發展。

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9 May 2016

Baidu chief says Chinese online search giant must change culture or risk bankruptcy

Author: Jack Liu, South China Morning Post

In wake of student’s death, Robin Li announces creation of 1 billion yuan fund to compensate users misled by paid ads…Baidu founder and chief executive Robin Li Yanhong yesterday rallied employees to help change the culture inside the online search giant as it takes responsibility for a university student’s death…

A task force set up by the Cyberspace Administration of China…concluded that the objectivity of Baidu’s search results was compromised by the paid-search listings…

“The management and employees’ obsession of KPI (key performance indicators) has twisted our values...and distanced ourselves from users,” Li said in an internal memo sent to Baidu staff on Tuesday. “If we lose the support of users, we lose hold of our values, and Baidu will truly go bankrupt in just 30 days.” Baidu has taken down the majority of paid-search links for major medical-related keywords and announced that it would stop working with all military-related medical institutions…“These measures may be negative to company revenue, but we are determined to face sacrifices because we believe this is the right thing to do.” [Li said.]

…Competitors have responded quickly to the Baidu scandal. Software company Qihoo 360 Technology stopped all medical-services-related advertising on its search engine last week.

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1 May 2016

Commentary: Death of college student raises questions on Baidu’s ethics

Author: Wang Shichuan, People's Daily

…Wei Zexi was a 21-year-old college student diagnosed with a rare form of cancer…The Baidu (百度) search led Wei to the Second Hospital of Beijing Armed Police Corps. The treatment Wei received at this hospital, which reportedly had cost the 200,000 yuan (around $31,000)…was not successful. Wei died on the morning of April 12, 2016…The hospital claimed that the treatment using cells generated by the patient's own immune system to counter cancer was a research collaboration with the Stanford medical school, which was later reported to be a lie…

This time, the controversy falls on allowing companies who pay more to appear high on search result rankings, even when such companies may not be qualified to provide the service…

Baidu has made two responses to Wei Zexi's death. The first one said that the…Hospital…is fully qualified. The second response said that Baidu is "proactively" looking into the credentials of the hospital under scrutiny and called on related authorities to give "high priority" to the case. The Second Hospital of Beijing Armed Police Corps has remained silent in this case. The regulatory authority's actions are vital to bring the case to full investigation to reveal the truth at this stage.

Internet companies shall think about how to reform their corporate values. If they kept the current conducts of passively answering criticisms and avoiding taking responsibilities, they would lose people's trust and respect…

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Author: 王石川, 人民日报 (中国)

被查出患有“滑膜肉瘤”这种罕见病的大学生魏则西…通过百度搜索找到武警北京总队第二医院,在花光东凑西借的20多万元后,仍不幸去世。魏则西生前曾在知乎撰文,详述此次经过,并称这种生物免疫疗法,在国外早已因为“效率太低”而被淘汰了。据报道,该院也并没有如宣传中那样,与斯坦福医学院有合作。今年1月初,百度因“卖吧”事件而广受质疑…

目前,百度已两度回应魏则西去世事件。先是称“武警北京总队第二医院是一家公立三甲医院,资质齐全”,继而表示“正积极向发证单位及武警总部主管该院的相关部门递交审查申请函,希望相关部门能高度重视,立即展开调查”。在涉事医院尚未发声的当下…

互联网企业更该思忖的是,如何更好地重塑价值观。如果仍然被动应对质疑,而不能理清责任链条,拧紧责任螺丝,彻底内部整饬,结果就可能如网友所称的,让人 们对互联网世界失去信任、对技术失去尊重。唯有“坚持经济效益和社会效益并重”,才能形塑风朗气清的网络生态,让网络技术回报社会、造福人民。

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Author: 王石川, 人民日報(中國)

被查出患有“滑膜肉瘤”這種罕見病的大學生魏則西…通過百度搜索找到武警北京總隊第二醫院,在花光東湊西借的20多萬元後,仍不幸去世。魏則西生前曾在知乎撰文,詳述此次經過,並稱這種生物免疫療法,在國外早已因為“效率太低”而被淘汰了。據報導,該院也並沒有如宣傳中那樣,與斯坦福醫學院有合作。今年1月初,百度因“賣吧”事件而廣受質疑…

目前,百度已兩度回應魏則西去世事件。先是稱“武警北京總隊第二醫院是一家公立三甲醫院,資質齊全”,繼而表示“正積極向發證單位及武警總部主管該院的相關部門遞交審查申請函,希望相關部門能高度重視,立即展開調查”。在涉事醫院尚未發聲的當下…

互聯網企業更該思忖的是,如何更好地重塑價值觀。如果仍然被動應對質疑,而不能理清責任鏈條,擰緊責任螺絲,徹底內部整飭,結果就可能如網友所稱的,讓人們對互聯網世界失去信任、對技術失去尊重。唯有“堅持經濟效益和社會效益並重”,才能形塑風朗氣清的網絡生態,讓網絡技術回報社會、造福人民。

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