Baidu has been the dominant search engine in China. Unlike on Google the keywords with the highest costs per click, or CPC, are about industries such as finance, retail, travel, jobs, etc., the most expensive on Baidu are medical keywords.

According to TOMsInsight, a Chinese research firm that has recently released a series of reports on China’s online black market, the advertisers behind the most expensive Baidu keywords are the same as those behind many television shopping programs which got popular in China in 1990’s.

A lot of products featured in those shopping programs are either fraudulent or useless. In 2006, Chinese authorities issued a regulation to forbid airing five categories of shopping programs on TV: medicine, medical equipment, cosmetic surgery, weight loss, increasing height and breast enlargement.

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com