Baidu (BIDU.NASDAQ) dismissed three employees, who were later arrested, on suspicions of accepting payment to delete content from its website, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing Baidu spokeswoman Betty Tian. Tian also disclosed that a fourth employee was fired but avoided arrest, as the worker was caught prior to carrying out any illegal actions. The content deletion took place in Baidu’s Tieba service, a forum that allows users to comment on various subjects, Tian said. Although illegal, the practice of individuals or companies bribing employees to delete negative posts from websites is rife in China. “There’s no major Chinese internet company that has been able to completely avoid this sort of thing,” said Mark Natkin, managing director of Marbridge Consulting. Analysts say the scandal is unlikely to have a major effect on Baidu.
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