20-F
BAIDU, INC. filed this Form 20-F on 03/31/2017
Entire Document
 


Table of Contents

Regulations on Advertisements and Online Advertising

The PRC government regulates advertising, including online advertising, principally through the State Administration for Industry and Commerce. The PRC Advertising Law, as recently amended in April 2015, outlines the regulatory framework for the advertising industry, and allows foreign investors to own up to all equity interests in PRC advertising companies.

We conduct our value-added telecommunication-based online advertising business through Baidu Netcom, which is one of our consolidated affiliated entities in China and holds a business license that covers value-added telecommunication-based online advertising in its business scope. Our subsidiaries Baidu Times and Baidu China have also expanded their respective business license to cover advertising in their respective business scope.

Advertisers, advertising operators and advertising distributors are required by PRC advertising laws and regulations to ensure that the contents of the advertisements they prepare or distribute are true and in full compliance with applicable laws and regulations. For example, pursuant to PRC Advertising Law, advertisements must not contain, among other prohibited contents, terms such as “the state-level”, “the highest grade”, “the best” or other similar words. In addition, where a special government review is required for certain categories of advertisements before publishing, the advertisers, advertising operators and advertising distributors are obligated to confirm that such review has been performed and the relevant approval has been obtained. Pursuant to the PRC Advertising Law, the use of internet to distribute advertisements shall not affect the normal use of the internet by users. Particularly, advertisements distributed on internet pages such as pop-up advertisements shall be indicated with conspicuous mark for close to ensure the close of such advertisements by one click. Where internet information service providers know or should know that illegal advertisements are distributed using their services, they shall prevent such advertisements from being distributed.

In addition to the above regulations, the Internet Advertising Measures also sets forth certain compliance requirements for online advertising businesses. For example, search engine service provider must indicate paid search results as an advertisement and distinguish paid search results from natural search results on their websites. Advertising operators and distributors of internet advertisement must examine, verify and record identity information, such as name, address and contact information, of advertisers, and maintain an updated verification record on a regular basis. Moreover, advertising operators and advertising distributors must examine supporting documentation provided by advertisers and verify the contents of the advertisements against supporting documents before publishing. If the contents of advertisements are inconsistent with the supporting documentation, or the supporting documentation is incomplete, advertising operators and distributors must refrain from providing design, production, agency or publishing services. The Internet Advertising Measures also prohibits the following activities: (i) providing or using applications and hardware to block, filter, skip over, tamper with, or cover up lawful advertisements; (ii) using network access, network equipment and applications to disrupt the normal transmission of lawful advertisements or adding or uploading advertisements without authorization; and (iii) harming the interests of a third party by using fake statistics or traffic data.

Violation of these regulations may result in penalties, including fines, confiscation of advertising income, orders to cease dissemination of the advertisements and orders to publish an advertisement correcting the misleading information. In the case of serious violations, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce or its local branches may force the violator to terminate its advertising operation or even revoke its business license. Furthermore, advertisers, advertising operators or advertising distributors may be subject to civil liability if they infringe on the legal rights and interests of third parties.

Tort Liability Law

In accordance with the PRC Tort Liability Law, which became effective in July 2010, internet users and internet service providers bear tortious liabilities in the event that they infringe upon other persons’ rights and interests through the internet. Where an internet user conducts tortious acts through internet services, the infringed person has the right to request the internet service provider take necessary actions such as deleting

 

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