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Baidu is shutting down some of its online forums to crack down on piracy

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By Charlotte McEleny | Asia Editor

May 25, 2016 | 3 min read

Baidu has announced that it will start shutting down some of the bars, or forums, within its Baidu Tieba platform if they are found to have pirated content.

The forums in questions are specifically for online literature and come as the Government is reportedly clamping down on piracy of online literature. Some reports claim that thousands of forum threads are being closed.

The news was first covered by state-owned news agency Xinhua, which also ran a report earlier this year stating that Baidu was one of the worst offenders for literature piracy.

Baidu has set up two channels on its website which will serve as a platform for users to tip it off about copyright issues.

According to reports, the National Copyright Administration of China has come out in support of the move.

It’s not the first time this year Baidu has had to close forums down on its Tieba platform. The business has come under scrutiny for malpractice around its commercial activity on forums, following allegations that it was selling access to commercial entities on its health forums.

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The business then came under fire this month for the way it sells and serves its paid-for search ads. A student died after taking an experimental cancer drug that he found an ad for while searching on Baidu. It has since slashed the number of paid ads it serves and its CEO has called on staff to put “values before profits”.

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