Microsoft’s Bing Research engine was inaccessible in China on Thursday, with social Networking users fearing it could be the latest foreign Site to Become blocked by censors.
Efforts to open cn.bing.com has led to an error message for most consumers because Wednesday.
“We have confirmed that Bing is now inaccessible in China and are engaged to determine next steps,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a concise statement, hours after saying that the company was investigating the matter.
China’s Communist authorities run an internet censorship device known as the”Great Firewall”, which blocks a ton of websites such as Facebook, Twitter and several foreign media outlets.
But it was not clear whether Bing joined the long list of banned sites, or if its China service was experiencing technical issues.
China’s cyberspace government did not immediately return a request for comment.
China’s Great Firewall could be circumvented by using a virtual private network (VPN), which can conceal an individual’s IP address.
While its rival Google shut down its search engine in China in 2010 after rows over censorship and hacking, Bing has continued to function in the nation along with Microsoft-owned Skype.
On Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social media website, folks complained about the absence of access, with some speculating that Bing also had been”walled off”.
Others aired their dissatisfaction about having to use Baidu, China’s largest domestic search service.
“I can’t start Bing, but I do not want to use Baidu – what to do?” Wrote one user.
“Bing is really dead – is this to induce me to use Baidu??” Explained another, cursing.
China has tightened policing of the Web in recent decades, shuttering 26,000″illegal” websites in 2018 independently and deleting six million on line posts containing vulgar articles, the official Xinhua news agency said earlier this month.