Despite government instructions to remove misleading listings, online housing rental platforms including 58.com (58同城), Anjuke (安居客), and Fang.com (房天下) have failed to abide by the order.

An investigation by the Beijing News found that after the Beijing Municipal Housing and Urban-Rural Development Committee, among others, issued a deadline of September 1 to clean up these listings, the companies still had not complied with the directive.

Rental agencies have been found to include fake pictures of apartments in their listings on these platforms to attract more customers. In some instances, what appears to be newly renovated apartments turn out to be old and run down. Location data is also faked, with agencies advertising properties as being close to public transport when long walks are required.

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Chris Udemans

Christopher Udemans is a Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covers Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, and cybersecurity. You can contact him at chrisudemans [at] technode [dot] com.