Virtually all social networks and platforms are blocked in China, and now Bing too. We explain what this case of censorship in particular indicates.
Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, joins the list of platforms censored in China. Like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other networks, the government seems to have blocked the search engine in the Asian giant.
However, the fact that it joins a long list of censored networks does not normalize the event, on the contrary, it makes it more relevant.
Bing was the last great foreign search engine that operated in China. It could be described as one of the last survivors to get the approval of the Chinese government and operate within the country.
The search engine was not blocked in China since they complied with its censorship policies. This implies blocking results related to certain topics, from Tibet to criticism towards President Xi Jinping. Thus, it does not allow to show content that they consider harmful to society from Beijing, such as pornography.
Microsoft collaborated with local companies to provide its services and gain acceptance from the Chinese government for more than a decade. It has a research and development center in China that has given life to important products and positioned experts who have later founded large companies in the country. However, it seems that more than 10 years of relationship and effort are not enough to make a dent in the Asian giant.
In case the blockade is permanent, it would indicate that foreign companies can do little to access the Chinese market, especially at a time when tensions between the US and China are constantly increasing.
Accepting the censorship requirements of the Chinese government is highly criticized by human rights groups. In fact, after being blocked in 2010, a few months ago came to light Google’s plans to return to operate within China censoring their results according to government rules. The project was rejected not only by entities external to the company, but by its own workers who opposed being part of Chinese censorship.