A scandal around Chinese wiki Baike (“互动百科” in Chinese) entry counterfeiting is causing a stir. As reported (in Chinese) by state television broadcaster CCTV’s annual gala for World Consumer Rights day, the for-profit encyclopedia was discovered to be allowing contributors to create entries at will as long as they pay advertising fees.

According to the report, fabricated and false medical content was found in articles. While the platform may sometimes remove content, a deleted entry can be reinstated as long as the contributor pays RMB 4,800. An entry related to a doctor or a medical expert only costs RMB 1,980 a year. The practice has left loopholes for some “customers” to create entries for illegitimate interests.

Baike.com, claiming itself to be the largest Chinese wiki and “devoting itself to providing mass, comprehensive, timely and free encyclopedic information to hundreds of millions of Chinese users,” was founded in 2005 and got listed on the country’s ChiNext in February 2016.

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Sheila Yu

Sheila Yu is a Shanghai-based technology writer. She brings readers the biggest news from Chinese language tech media. Reach her at sheila@technode.com.