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December 23, 2009

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Web material deleted; tied to prostitution

A CHAT room on, a popular search engine, was closed and posts were deleted in another chat room for allegedly providing matchmaking platforms for prostitution in Shanghai.

Jenny Xiao, of the Baidu Tieba, a cyber community of Baidu, said the Website decided to close the chat room, named "Shanghai student," after the contents were confirmed violating the Website's regulations.

Meanwhile, several posts containing the contact information of pimps were deleted in a room called "Shanghai girl student," after Shanghai Daily tipped off Baidu yesterday.

Xiao said though Baidu has an inspection system and frequently checks all the posts, it is impossible to find and delete every piece of information about alleged prostitution or pornography on the free-access platform.

"The inspection system is not artificially intelligent and it's hard to identify each piece of problematic information, as there is so much information on our Website every day," Xiao told Shanghai Daily yesterday.

"We very much welcome the public to use our complaint system once they find suspicious information."

Similar posts containing potential prostitution information could still be found in a chat room called "Shanghai girl" on the Website last night.

Last Thursday, pimps were reported to have used popular online media, such as QQ and Tieba, for prostitution businesses in Shanghai, according to, one of the city's major news Websites. The report created a stir, being cited by many other Websites, including, one of the country's biggest Internet portals.

Some posts of the "Shanghai student" chat room cited prices of 1,200 yuan (US$176) to 1,500 yuan for having sex with a Shanghai college girl per night, and left instant-message accounts for people to contact.

Some pimps even put pictures of the prostitutes on their blogs at for customers to browse and pick.


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