Microsoft's Bing blocked in China, prompting grumbling

Microsoft Corp.'s Bing appp is seen with other mobile apps on a smartphone in Beijing, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. Chinese internet users have lost access to Microsoft Corp.'s Bing search engine, triggering grumbling about the ruling Communist Party's increasingly tight online censorship. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

BEIJING — Chinese internet users lost access to Microsoft's Bing search engine for two days, setting off grumbling about the ruling Communist Party's increasingly tight online censorship.

Microsoft Corp. said Friday that access had been restored. A brief statement gave no reason for the disruption or other details.

Comments on social media had accused regulators of choking off access to information. Others complained they were forced to use Chinese search engines they say deliver poor results.

"Why can't we choose what we want to use?" said a comment signed Aurelito on the Sina Weibo microblog service.

Bing complied with government censorship rules by excluding foreign websites that are blocked by Chinese filters from search results. But President Xi Jinping's government has steadily tightened control over online activity.

The agency that enforces online censorship, the Cyberspace Administration of China, didn't respond to questions sent by fax.

China has by far the biggest population of internet users, with some 800 million people online, according to government data.

The Communist Party encourages internet use for business and education but blocks access to foreign websites run by news organizations, human rights and Tibet activists and others deemed subversive.

Since coming to power in 2012, Xi has promoted the notion of "internet sovereignty," or the right of Beijing and other governments to dictate what their publics can do and see online.

Chinese filters block access to global social media including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Officials argue such services operating beyond their control pose a threat to national security.

Xi's government also has tightened controls on use of virtual private network technology that can evade its filters.

Alphabet Inc.'s Google unit operated a search engine in China until 2010 that excluded blocked sites from results. The company closed that after hacking attacks aimed at stealing Google's source code and breaking into email accounts were traced to China.

That has helped Chinese competitors such as search engine Baidu.com to flourish. But Baidu has been hit by repeated complaints that too many search results are irrelevant or are paid advertising.

Other News

Business groups appeal to China over cybersecurity law

Aug 12, 2016

A coalition of 46 business groups from the United States, Europe and Asia has appealed to China to change proposed cybersecurity rules they warn will harm trade and isolate the country

China's launch of quantum satellite major step in space race

Aug 16, 2016

Experts say China's launch of the first quantum satellite will push forward the worldwide effort to develop the ability to send communications that can't be penetrated by hackers

China's electric vehicle industry shaken by scandal

Sep 13, 2016

China's electric vehicle industry, a flagship for Beijing's technology ambitions, has been rocked by scandal after five companies were caught collecting millions of dollars in subsidies for buses they never made

Search
Trending News

Scienfinite is created to inspire our readers with the aim to understand the world and appreciate its everyday awe. Keep up with the technology and latest innovations here, only in Scienfinite.