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Bing is back! Microsoft's search engine is no longer blocked in China

26 January, 2019, 03:43 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
  • Bing Seach Engine

"We do adhere to the global network initiative set of principles when it comes to search services in China".

Attempting to open cn.bing.com results in an error message, though users in China can still access Bing's worldwide site using a virtual private network.

Bing's rival Google shut down its search engine in China in 2010, after rows with the authorities over censorship and hacking. But it occurred on a government order, according to The Financial Times, which cited unnamed sources.

Microsoft said in a statement that Bing's service has been restored in China after it had been inaccessible, without elaboration.

President Xi Jinping has accelerated control of the internet in China since 2016, as the ruling communist party has sought to crack down on dissent in social media. Microsoft, however, did comply with the Chinese government's policies to keep Bing from being blocked, though something must have changed for the latest ban. Fang accused Baidu, the dominant Chinese search engine in the country, of replacing many recommended web links and products with its own, thus becoming more of a marketing platform than a search engine. Even though there are speculations about Bing being the next victim of the "Great Firewall of China", Microsoft says that it may very well be a glitch, as well.

Cyber watchdog Cyberspace Administration of China had said on Wednesday that it had deleted more than 7 million pieces of online information and 9,382 mobile apps.

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The outage caused concern that the service might have been blocked by the Chinese authorities.

Smith said Microsoft has "days when there are either hard negotiations or even disagreements" with Chinese authorities about search results on Bing.

Many US tech companies are keen to tap into the Chinese market, but have a hard relationship with the authorities in Beijing.

Smith said it was understood that Bing did not have the same legal freedoms in China that it enjoyed in other countries.

"In a year when the 30th anniversary of Tiananmen is coming up, and at a time when the economy is not doing well, Beijing needs to look like they are in charge and in power", he said, referring to the Chinese government's deadly crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations in 1989.

China's blocking of the Bing search engine appears to have only lasted about a day.



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