Microsoft's Bing blocked in China

Microsoft's Bing blocked in China

Chinese internet users have lost access to Microsoft's Bing search engine, sparking complaints about the ruling Communist Party's increasingly tight online censorship.

Comments on social media 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 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.

Microsoft confirmed in a statement that Bing was inaccessible in China.

It said the company is trying to "determine next steps" but gave no details.

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 organisations, human rights and Tibet activists and others deemed subversive.

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

Chinese filters block access to global social media including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Officials argue such services operating beyond their control pose a threat to national security.

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

Alphabet'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.

"Is it really necessary to force me to use these garbage domestic search engines?" said a comment on Sina Weibo.

- Press Association


More on this topic

Microsoft at $1trn pulls ahead of AppleMicrosoft at $1trn pulls ahead of Apple

Internet Explorer not suitable as main browser: Microsoft security bossInternet Explorer not suitable as main browser: Microsoft security boss

Microsoft Office 365 email service outages hit users across EuropeMicrosoft Office 365 email service outages hit users across Europe

Amazon overtakes Microsoft as most valuable US firm amid market turmoilAmazon overtakes Microsoft as most valuable US firm amid market turmoil

More in this Section

Peter Handke takes Nobel Literature Prize amid protest over Serb war crimesPeter Handke takes Nobel Literature Prize amid protest over Serb war crimes

Brazilian president calls activist Greta Thunberg a ‘brat’Brazilian president calls activist Greta Thunberg a ‘brat’

Extinction Rebellion protesters target UK Conservative election busExtinction Rebellion protesters target UK Conservative election bus

Donald Trump lashes out at FBI chief after Russia probe reportDonald Trump lashes out at FBI chief after Russia probe report


Lifestyle

Lizzo, Demi Lovato and Ashley Graham are among those prompting us to practise a little more self-love.5 times celebrities reminded us to be body positive in 2019

Wondering about wine for the big day? Leslie Williams has all the options, for every taste and budget.Something from the bar: The perfect drink selections this Christmas

Damon Smith faces the might of the First Order on the exhilarating Star Wars Rise Of The Resistance attraction at Walt Disney World in Orlando.Feeling the Force in Florida: Star Wars Rise Of The Resistance attraction opens at Walt Disney World

There’s nothing better than curling up with a good book over the Christmas holidays, says Kya deLongchamps.By the book: Our top home and interiors picks to curl up with over the festive season

More From The Irish Examiner