China’s top streaming service hides video view counts after click farms inflated numbers

China’s top streaming service iQiyi is turning off view counts on all of its videos. Instead, videos will be evaluated for popularity based on a new system to “underline the company’s commitment to the highest quality content.”

iQiyi is mostly known for its polished productions like the new historical drama Story of Yanxi Palace about back-stabbing concubines and hip-hop dancing reality show Hot-Blood Dance Crew. But the streaming service, which has been likened to Netflix and Hulu, sets itself apart from those platforms by allowing users to upload their own content and grow their own audiences. It’s also owned by Baidu, China’s largest search engine, and it has a lot of investment in AI tools. Despite its commercial successes, the…

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