Microsoft also censors Chinese-language Bing outside of China

Microsoft’s search engine Bing gives very different results depending on the language chosen. Topics subject to government censorship in China are also omitted in the Chinese-language version of Bing when used outside of China.

The news was reported by British newspaper The Guardian based on research by censorship blog GreatFire. That research shows that Bing does not only meet the requirements of the Chinese government regarding censorship in China. When using Bing in China, the user will receive another message that the results have been filtered. If people use the Chinese-language Bing elsewhere, that doesn’t happen.

Even if a user is in the US, for example, search results for terms such as ‘Dalai Lama’ will differ greatly, depending on whether the search is in Chinese or in another language. In Chinese, the top results consist of items about a Chinese state television documentary, followed by pages from China’s censored Wikipedia version, Baidu Baike. A search on the English language Bing produces the Dalai Lama’s official site and his Wikipedia page. Google provides the same, uncensored search results regardless of language and location.

Microsoft denies the case. “A bug in our system caused incorrect notifications to remove results for some searches, but the results outside of China have not been and have not been adjusted,” Microsoft chief executive Stefan Weitz told Reuters.