知乎出现莆田系医疗广告,用户表示难以接受 – ChinaByte

What happened: An ad for Putian Medical Group, now notorious for its involvement in a 2016 Baidu search-linked health scandal, appeared on Quora-like platform Zhihu. Users were especially indignant because before his death, the victim of that incident–Wei Zixi, a young cancer patient who underwent an expensive and ineffective treatment–wrote about his experience on Zhihu. Company founder and CEO Zhou Yuan responded to the uproar, saying Zhihu would drop the ad immediately. He wrote that the advertisement likely came through “automated channels,” and that the company values “everyone’s suggestions a lot.”

Why it’s important: The Baidu search incident shone a spotlight on Putian Medical Group’s various suspect practices. It also resulted in the search engine giant coming under fire by netizens for promoting a major advertiser’s services over those of public health providers. When the ad for Putian appeared on Zhihu, users may have seen a repeat of the previous incident, with the Q&A site’s role reversed this time. It may also reflect Zhihu’s growing pains as it expands and commercializes: After a successful Series E last August, the company grew to a valuation of $2.5 billion. The platform relies on ads and paid content for income.

Correction: This article was updated at 12:35pm, January 22, to reflect the most recently announced valuation of Zhihu. As of August 2018, the company was worth $2.5 billion, not $2.5 million.

Bailey Hu

Bailey Hu is based in China’s hardware capital, Shenzhen. Her interests include local maker culture, grassroots innovation and how tech shapes society, as well as vice versa.

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