Microsoft’s Bing search engine has reportedly been blocked in China, according to a report from the Financial Times. Starting from today, internet users in mainland China started complaining that search engine is no longer accessible from within the country, the website is still accessible to the people outside China at the moment.
According to sources speaking anonymously with the FT, the state owned telecom China Unicom has confirmed the order came from the government. We don’t yet know what may have triggered the ban.
Microsoft provided the following statement: “We’ve confirmed that Bing is currently inaccessible in China and are engaged to determine next steps.”
Now there are already a number of Western websites that are blocked in China. Twitch got banned in September, while Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have been permanently banned for years.
Microsoft’s Bing was one of the few services of a US company that was available in the country, despite competing with local government-connected services. And of of the reason of Bing’s survival was Microsoft’s willingness to comply with the Chinese government’s censorship policies, but despite of that the website has been blocked in China.
Under President Xi Jinping, who has solidified his power by abolishing term limits last year, China has grown more stringent with its control over the internet.
Now at the moment it is unclear why the website has been blocked and will it be available again.