Sunday, July 28, 2013

Baidu Temporarily Relaxes Censorship of "GlaxoSmithKline"

On July 26, 2013, the Communist Party mouthpiece the People's Daily published a report from China's official news agency Xinhua entitled "Police Reveal Details of GSK China's Alleged Violations." Some excerpts:
The Chinese police on Thursday revealed details of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) China's alleged bribery and tax-related violations that pushed up drug prices and disrupted market order. 
After the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) announced on July 11 that some employees from GSK China were being investigated for suspected bribery and tax-related violations, more individuals involved in the case, including salespeople and doctors, are now under investigation. 
Xinhua has learned from police officers handling the case that they are suspected of offering bribes to doctors, asking them to prescribe more drugs in order to grow sales volume, and in the meantime pushing up drug prices.
These screenshots show that at some time between July 22 and July 27 Baidu relaxed its censorship for searches of "GlaxoSmithKline" (葛兰素史克), and started returning news results for that term. Baidu was still censoring search results, however, restricting results to a white list of about a dozen web sites controlled by the central government and the Communist Party.

These screenshots show that as of July 28, Baidu was once again censoring searches for "GlaxoSmithKline" and was not returning any news results for that term.

These screenshots show that as of July 27 most other search engines and Weibos were continuing to completely censor searches for "GlaxoSmithKline."

The exception was Tencent's Soso search engine, which has not appeared to censor search results for "GlaxoSmithKline."