Chinese government appears to be blocking Microsoft search engine Bing

The Chinese government appears to be blocking Microsoft search engine Bing. The search engine cannot be reached in part of China. Microsoft is investigating the matter, the Chinese government has not yet commented.

Screenshot: Shen Lu

Microsoft has been censoring search results in Bing for years under Chinese government censorship rules in order to operate in the country of nearly 1.4 billion people. Chinese users noticed local time on Wednesday that the search engine appeared to be offline, The New York Times reports. Bing is not unreachable in all of China. That may indicate that it is not a total blockade, but sometimes it takes a while for a blockade across the country to work, the paper notes.

It is unknown why the Chinese government would want to block Bing. There is no known recent conflict between the Chinese government and Microsoft. It is unknown how many visitors the search engine has in China, where it competes with Chinese companies such as Baidu, among others.

Microsoft says it has seen that Bing is not available in China and says it is investigating the matter. China’s internet regulator, Office of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission, is not commenting on the matter.