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Microsoft Search Engine, Bing Blocked in China

Posted on January 24th, 2019
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Bing, Microsoft-Owned search engine has become the latest internet service to be shut down by the Chinese government’s Great Firewall according to a report from the Financial Times. Many popular western internet giants like Facebook, whatsapp, Twitter, Yahoo and google had already been shut down and is not available to Chinese users. Now,  cn.bing.com is no longer available from within the country while it is still accessible to those outside China at the moment.

Like others, this latest crackdown comes directly from the authority, the State-owned telecommunications operator China Unicom confirmed that Bing had been blocked in the country after a government order, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing two sources familiar with the matter.

Shut Down Even When Playing By the Rules

This came as a surprise, because Bing’s survival in china until now was due to Microsoft’s willingness to comply with the Chinese government’s censorship policies, but now even that has proved not enough for China. It also modified Windows 10 for China back in 2017 through a collaboration with state-owned China Electronics Technology Group to eliminate Beijing’s fears of possible backdoor in the American software.

Former Microsoft executive Steven Sinofsky lamented Bing’s blockage in China, writing on Twitter that Microsoft had “worked so hard to be successful there.”

Reason for the Ban

Although the reason for this recent ban is yet unknown, the ban comes a day after China’s top search engine Baidu received complaints that it was promoting low-quality pieces from its news organization Baijiahao in its search engine, weighing down its shares.

Alternatives

Baidu still remains the biggest search engine in China with Sogou coming in second. However some users find Bing more attractive and pleasant as an alternative to local options that are usually flooded with ads. With this latest ban, for a user to access Bing in China and other censored websites, users need to rely on VPN services, but the Chinese government has been cracking down on the use of VPN services in the country.

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