Microsoft's Search Engine Banned in China

Bing Bong

"We've confirmed that Bing is now inaccessible in China and are engaged to determine next steps", a Microsoft spokesperson told Bloomberg.

It wasn't immediately clear why Bing was being blocked.

Bing had been allowed to operate in China after agreeing to censor its search results to remove "politically sensitive" content but its closure may reflect Beijing's intolerance of foreign tech companies, particularly ahead of the 30-year anniversary of its bloody crackdown on student demonstrators in Beijing. China's internet regulator didn'trespondto a request for comment Thursday, and the Foreign Ministry declined to comment.

"Periodically there are issues that arise and sometimes those issues do lead to our service or some other services being blocked and you know it is an area where we understand we don't have the same legal freedom that we do in other countries but at the same time we stick to our guns", he said.

While these kinds of machinations are par for the course for China's fickle net nanny, Bloomberg has said that, contrary to earlier reporting, Bing's temporary inaccessibility in China was actually due to an accidental technical error rather than an attempt at censorship, citing sources familiar with the matter. But President Xi Jinping's government has steadily tightened control over online activity. Search engines are always a hot topic.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Is Officially Running for President
Kirsten Gillibrand , D-N.Y., speaks October 25, 2018, during the New York Senate debate hosted by WABC-TV, in New York. I believe in right vs. wrong - that wrong wins when we do nothing. "I believe we're all called to make a difference".

Top US internet platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have been blocked for years.

Bing getting blocked in China is a huge deal and it just highlights the continued abuse of power from the Chinese government.

Those next steps are presumably calling up the Chinese authorities and asking what the company did to fall foul of the alleged DNS redirect of doom. "And that does mean that there are days when there are either hard negotiations or even disagreements, but we're not aware of any ongoing negotiation or disagreement". But China has more than 770 million internet users and a thriving online shopping market, making it impossible for top tech companies to ignore. The company effectively left China in 2010 when it stopped running itscensored Google.cn service. Alibaba-backed Shenma is the second biggest with about 16%.

Bing, however, has struggled to catch up to China's own Baidu search engine, which dominates the market even though many people in the country complain about the quality of its search results.

"There are times when there are hard negotiations with the Chinese government and we are still waiting to find out what this situation is about", he said.

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