Baidu Wins As China Considers Forcing Tencent And ByteDance To Display Content On Search Engines
Beijing is considering forcing media giants including Tencent and ByteDance to share their content on search engines such as Baidu.
The move serves as an extension of Xi Jinping’s wealth sharing initiative, which has triggered months of scrutiny directed at tech monopolies.
China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) is weighing new rules that would see hundreds of millions of articles currently exclusively available on Tencent’s WeChat appear on local search engines.
Short videos from ByteDance’s Douyin platform could also show up in the search engines.
Currently, both WeChat and Douyin allow individuals and businesses to publish articles and content on their own accord.
By forcing media giants to display their content directly on search engines would divert traffic and thus revenue away from their sources and directly to the likes of Baidu. In 2008, Alibaba’s Taobao mall purposely blocked Baidu searches to retain its consumers on its platform.
The “unprecedented” move, as described by Bloomberg, would reshape the advertising structure of Chinese media giants.
News of China’s consideration saw Baidu’s share price climbing 4.3% on Monday afternoon.
However, the decision is yet to be finalised. MIIT’s reach overlaps also with other powerful agencies such as the Cyberspace Administration of China and the State Administration of Market Regulation. The latter fined Alibaba and Meituan for market abuse.
MIIT head Xiao Yaqing said the agency is embarking on a six-month cleanup campaign to strengthen the monitoring of the internet industry.
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