30 June 2020
Microsoft’s Bing search engine has reportedly been banned in China, by the Chinese government. It has become the latest American technology service to become inaccessible in China.
Microsoft Bing will now be unavailable to internet users in mainland China though it is still accessible to those outside China at the moment. State-owned telecom China Unicom has confirmed that the ban order came from the Chinese government. However, there are no reports as to why the search engine has been banned.
"We've confirmed that Bing is currently inaccessible in China and are engaged to determine next steps," the company said in a statement.
China has restrictive internet and has banned a number of search engines and tech sites within the country. Twitch was banned back in September, and Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have also been permanently banned for a number of years.
Microsoft’s Bing was one of the few services which were developed by a US company to remain available in China, despite competing with local government-connected services. One of the reasons for the survival of Microsoft Bing was due to Microsoft’s willingness to comply with the Chinese government’s censorship policies. However, under President Xi Jinping, the Chinese government has grown more stringent with its control over the internet over the last year.
Internet giant Google had also been banned in the country a few years back. Now reports have emerged that Google is developing a search engine called Dragonfly which is designed according to policies of the Chinese government. The internet giant has received a lot of backlash for developing the country specific search engine which will give restrictive access to users in China.