News aggregate website faulted for fake ads
Shanghai-headquartered Qutoutiao failed to properly scrutinize its advertisers on its site.
The news aggregate website allowed ads of fraudulent weight-related drugs to be published on its platform, according to China Central Television’s annual “3.15” quality investigation program.
Qutoutiao said it provided tailored news and information to viewers based on data algorithms and readers receive contents based on their preferences.
Qutoutiao’s NASDAQ shares lost more than 10 percent early on Thursday.
A video of an advertising clip on Qutoutiao which claimed tea can help with weight loss and disease prevention directed users to online shopping sites to place orders.
Products are not allowed to make such false claims, according to the advertising law.
Another ad aggregation and distribution site Juyimei Online Technology was found running ads on behalf of online gambling sites under the disguise of recruitment ads for online part-time jobs. Such ads appear at Qutoutiao and other news websites.
“We apologize for the lack of management in the platform’s advertising section and for the trouble it has caused for our users,” Qutoutiao said.