(Reuters) – A US judge has dismissed a lawsuit accusing Baidu Inc. of defrauding shareholders of its ability to comply with Chinese rules governing Internet content. the proposed class action lawsuit that 12 statements made by Baidu from March 2019 to March 2020 were false and misleading and inflated the Beijing-based company's share price.
The statements included that the world's largest search engine other than Alphabet Inc's Google LLC had "cleared" harmful or questionable content such as drugs, games and pornographic content, giving users more confidence and potentially increased online traffic and revenue.
Judge Koh, based in San Jose, California, also found no evidence. of intent to deceive, after plaintiff Roger Ikeda claimed that leading Baidu chiefs hid shortcomings in compliance to avoid fines and suspensions from the Chinese government nt.
Lawyers for Ikeda did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday, nor did Baidu's lawyers. "Low-brow content" prompted Baidu to turn off certain channels in its mobile app.
Baidu updated the channels two weeks later.
The proposed shareholder class included holders of Baidu's US custodian shares from March 1