Many netizens have commented since last night that a range of online service providers, including e-commerce platform Taobao, online payment app Alipay, second-hand trading platform Xianyu, food delivery service provider Eleme and other apps under Alibaba Group have canceled the advertisements that usually appear when users open the apps, winning unanimous praise from the public.
These advertisements are provided by third-party companies to earn greater traffic and profits, which is a relatively normal practice. However, the ad providers also have tended to misguide users, enticing them to click their screen by hook or crook.
In response to these undesirable effects, Liu Liehong, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), said that “non-compliant advertising, like the nearly invisible close buttons of pop-up windows, has caused dissatisfaction among users.”
Some apps will pop up all kinds of advertisements when they are opened or used. What bothers users most is that they often can’t find the close button at all, or the button’s color is mixed with the background color. Although some apps provide closing options, they will set various obstacles, even requiring nine or 10 steps to close the advertisement.
On July 8th, the MITT announced that it would vigorously push for rectification of the harassing pop-up advertisement problem.
“The protection of users’ rights and interests is related to people’s sense of acquisition, happiness and security. We have always attached great importance to the protection of personal information,” the MITT said.
According to the announcement, 68 Internet companies including Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, Bytedance, Sina Weibo and iQiyi have completed the rectification as required. In the second quarter of 2021, the number of complaints from users regarding pop-up advertisements decreased by 50% month-on-month, and the cases of misleading users to click the third-party pages decreased by 80% year-on-year.