We’ve read that money is tight in Guangdong these days. The government is tightening its spending (so it says), and one local official has recently quit his government post and turned to entrepreneurship, apparently because he wasn’t getting paid enough. But so far, we have to give it to the Dongguan Local Taxation Bureau for the most awe-inspiring way to generate government revenue in this grim financial climate – selling advertisements, including those for adult products, on its official website.
The bureau’s sly move was brought to light after a reporter from Nanfang Daily found the bureau’s official website was teeming with ads selling company loans, phone plans and adult products by typing Dongguan Dishui（东莞地税 ）into the Chinese search engine Baidu, China’s equivalent of Google, the newspaper reported on February 25.
One official from the bureau told the newspaper that the domain name – http://www.dgds.gov.cn/ (now the ads are all gone) – was its old website and was abolished last year. The bureau’s new domain name has changed to http://dgltax.gov.cn/, according to him.
He said the two characters Guan Wang (官网), meaning “official website” in English, was generated by Baidu in its search results, and the bureau has contacted Baidu to fix the apparent “mistake”.
Home page photo from Nanfang Daily