News reading app Toutiao was discovered to be allowing placement of ads linked to a number of private hospitals, suspected of violating the country’s advertising regulations, local media is reporting (in Chinese).

Users recently found that after they tapped into the local news channel a number of medical ads showed up, most of them for private dental and traditional medicine clinics. But neither medical advertising approval has been found on the app for these ads, nor have these private hospitals attained prior approval from local health authorities.

Illegal medical ads have rarely appeared on websites since Baidu’s unethical advertising scandal broke out last April, when the death of a college student who claimed to have used the search engine to seek dubious cancer treatment put into question Baidu’s paid medical ad model.

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

What you get

Full access to all premium content and our full archives

Members'-only newsletters

Preferential access and discounts to all TechNode events

Direct access to the TechNode newsroom

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

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.