China blocks Microsoft’s search engine Bing

This is the second such setback for Microsoft in China.

Microsoft’s search engine Bing has become the latest foreign technology service to be closed down by Chinese authorities.

As per Microsoft’s statement, its Bing search engine has been blocked in China.

“We’ve confirmed that Bing is currently inaccessible in China and are engaged to determine next steps,” said Microsoft in a statement.

In November 2017, Microsoft’s Skype was also blocked by Chinese authorities and the the internet phone call and messaging service was pulled from Apple and Android app stores in China.

A search performed on Bing’s China website – cn.bing.com – from within mainland China directs the user to a page that says the server cannot be reached.

A report by The Financial Times, citing a source, stated that China Unicom a major state-owned telecommunication company, had confirmed the government order to block the search engine.

Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), a government watchdog, did not respond to questions regarding Microsoft’s search engine being blocked in the country.

Bing was the only major foreign search engine accessible from within China’s so-called Great Firewall. Microsoft censored search results on sensitive topics, in accordance with government policy.

Microsoft also has a partnership with Chinese data center provider 21Vianet to offer its products Azure and Office 365 to clients in the country.

Since 2010, Alphabet’s Google has also been blocked in China. In December, Google CEO Sundar Pichai had stated, it has “no plans” to relaunch its search engine in China; however it is continuing to study the idea amid increased scrutiny of big tech firms.

Since 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping has accelerated control of the internet in the country with the ruling Communist Party seeking to crack down hard on dissent in the social media.

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