Microsoft’s Bing search engine was inaccessible in China on Thursday, with social media users fearing it could be the Most Recent foreign website to be blocked by censors.
Efforts to open cn.bing.com has resulted in an error message for users because Wednesday.
“We’ve confirmed that Bing is currently inaccessible in China and are participated to see next steps,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a concise announcement, hours after stating that the company was investigating the matter.
China’s Communist government operate an internet censorship apparatus known as the”Great Firewall”, which blocks a slew of websites such as Facebook, Twitter and several foreign media outlets.
Nevertheless, it wasn’t clear whether Bing joined the long list of prohibited websites, or if its China support was experiencing technical issues.
China’s cyberspace government didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
China’s Great Firewall could be circumvented with a virtual private network (VPN), which can conceal an individual’s IP address.
On Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social media site, people complained about the absence of access, with a few exceptions that Bing also was”walled off”.
Others beamed their dissatisfaction about having to use Baidu, China’s biggest domestic search service.
“I can’t start Bing, but I do not wish to use Baidu – what to do?” Wrote one user.
“Bing is actually dead – is this to force me to use Baidu??” Explained another, cursing.
China has tightened policing of the Internet in the last couple of decades, shuttering 26,000″prohibited” websites in 2018 alone and minding six million online articles containing vulgar articles, the official Xinhua news agency said earlier this month.
Bing’s disruption comes as the United States and China are locked in a bruising trade war, with US accusations that China steals technological know-how one of the core disagreements.
Both sides are scheduled for fresh trade negotiations next week.