Microsoft Bing now blocked in China

Baidu and Microsoft's Bing are widely used search engines in China. — File

"We've confirmed that Bing is now inaccessible in China and are engaged to determine next steps", a Microsoft spokesperson told Bloomberg. For instance, in China, Bing would redirect users to the government's own content about Dalai Lama, while outside of the country it would link to Dalai Lama's Wikipedia page.

As usual, China has kept quiet on why it has blocked Microsoft Bing.

What triggered China to block the search engine isn't clear. Under President Xi Jinping, who has solidified his power by abolishing term limits a year ago, China has grown more stringent with its control over the internet. According to a report in Financial Times, mainland Chinese users wrote on social media that attempts to access Bing's China site, cn.bing.com, failed. At the time of writing, the address is still accessible to those outside of China. The setback is Microsoft's latest since 2017 when its Skype internet phone call and messaging service was dropped from Apple and Android app stores, Reuters reported. What's intriguing is that even hours after the block, there's no word from Chinese authorities about the reason for Bing being banned nationwide - not even a confirmation. A spokeswoman from China's cyberspace authority did not reply to a request for comment on Thursday. It's no secret that the government has been cracking down on western services for a while, though it's control over the internet is only getting worse over time. Microsoft Bans Cryptocurrency Ads on Bing Search Engine. Other major networks like Twitter and Facebook have been blocked for years.

Chinese authorities operate a firewall that blocks many United States tech platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.

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Bing had been allowed to operate in the country because it censored search results, Schmitz reports.

"Providing the Chinese government with ready access to user data, as required by Chinese law, would make Google complicit in oppression and human rights abuses", the November letter created by Google Employees Against Dragonfly states. Others complained they were forced to use Chinese search engines they said delivered poor results - often irrelevant or thought to be paid advertising.

"But we're not aware of any ongoing negotiation or disagreement, so we're working to understand it better", he added, referring to its sudden inaccessibility.

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