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August 12, 2010

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Big moving companies quit Baidu

SHANGHAI'S legal moving companies announced yesterday that they will quit the online business platform of, accusing it of promoting unlicensed moving firms.

More than 20 licensed companies said they will also stop advertising and paid links with Baidu.

After the pullout, all information about moving companies on Baidu would then belong to unlicensed firms, according to a joint statement issued yesterday by the industry association.

The Shanghai Traffic Law Enforcement team said there are at least 300 unlicensed companies that use the same names as licensed firms.

Last year, there were more than 730 complaints about fake business operators overcharging or even stealing goods from customers, officials said. Some unlicensed firms were found leaving the phone number of a licensed company to customers who intended to complain.

"The fakes make the money while the real companies take the blame," said the association's statement.

Earlier this year the city closed 35 websites related to unlicensed moving companies.

Many unauthorized companies have paid Baidu to promote their links and phone numbers, the legal companies claimed.

The industry association called on Baidu to stop selling links to unlicensed moving firms as it has largely damaged the reputation of approved firms.

Liu Weijun, vice general manager of Shanghai Gongxing House-moving and Logistic Co, said they sent a complaint letter in late July to Baidu. It demanded that all links to unlicensed companies be removed in three days.

"It's embarrassing when a customer complains and it turns out they were cheated by somebody else," Liu said.

A Baidu public relations official said she did not know about Gongxing's letter.


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