China Has Blocked Microsoft’s Bing Search Engine

China Has Blocked Microsoft’s Bing Search Engine

China Has Blocked Microsoft’s Bing Search Engine

But despite kowtowing to the government, the search engine has joined the list of inaccessible services.

Microsoft says it's aware of reports pointing to issues experienced by users when trying to access its search engine in China and explains it's investigating.

The search engine world in China raised particular challenges for US-based tech giants, with Google itself leaving the country back in 2010.

The Financial Times reported on Thursday that Bing has been blocked in China following a government order, citing two sources familiar with the matter.

"We can confirm that Bing was inaccessible in China, but service is now restored", said a Microsoft spokesman, without specifying the reason why it was unavailable.

President Xi Jinping has accelerated control of the internet in China since 2016, as the ruling communist party has sought to crack down on dissent in social media.

China's internet regulator, Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has deleted over 7 million pieces of online content and 9,832 mobile applications and shut down 733 websites operating in the country.

However, only a few hours later, Bing's Chinese search engine suddenly became usable once more. But the blocking of Bing is notable because the website actually followed the country's strict rules on censoring search results.

The service outage comes as Beijing ramps up its push to scrub the domestic internet, which it sees as a growing threat to social stability.

Bing getting blocked in China is a huge deal and it just highlights the continued abuse of power from the Chinese government. Any action against Microsoft could set off alarm bells for US technology giants like Apple Inc. who now rely on the Chinese market, especially amid complaints that Beijing unfairly restricts market access to promote local champions.

Google came under fire previous year when news emerged that it was planning to launch a censored version of its search app in China.

Chinese tech firm Baidu is the dominant player, accounting for 70% of the market previous year, according to research firm StatCounter.

Smith said it was understood that Bing did not have the same legal freedoms in China that it enjoyed in other countries.

Credit: Casimiro PT/ShutterstockMicrosoft's Bing search engine has been unexpectedly blocked in China without any official statement from the government.

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