Video: Click farms of phantom users flood China’s US$50 billion online advertising market

Up to 90 per cent of the views of some of China’s most popular video sites are fake, according to state media reports.

PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 February, 2018, 4:14pm
UPDATED : Monday, 05 February, 2018, 4:14pm

China’s online publishers have been beset by operations of click farms, which string together hundreds of thousands of phone cards to create digital phantom users that inflate viewership or create fake responses.

Click farms are capable of creating as many as 10,000 fake views for video sites for prices ranging from US$0.47 to US$11, according to investigations by the South China Morning Post .

The mathematics show how this works: Each of the country’s top 10 television shows garnered 10 billion online views in 2017, with two shows receiving more than 1 billion views on one day, in a country with 750 million internet users.

The business of fake views is so widespread that Chinese state media CCTV reported that 90 per cent of views generated by many popular shows on video sites are fake.

Here’s a video of how click farms work in China: