Microsoft’s Bing Search Engine announced on Dec. 17 that “Bing China” has suspended the search auto-suggest function for 30 days at the request of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
As a global search platform, Bing clarifies that it will continue to respect legal principles and users’ privacy rights. Significantly, it would help customers find the information they need at the highest level of legal compliance possible.
China has the most stringent Internet content censorship in the world. It was demonstrated significantly when large-scale or essential political meetings of the CCP were held.
On Dec. 16, some Chinese social media users said they could not access Bing. The Wall Street Journal reported that at least nine provinces and cities, including Beijing, Guangdong, Hubei, Shanghai, and Sichuan, couldn’t access Bing.
Earlier this year, Microsoft users discovered that the Bing platform was being censored for content related to Chinese politics.
Bing is a search engine service launched by Microsoft in 2009. It is currently the only major foreign search engine used in Mainland China.
In October, LinkedIn also announced its withdrawal from China. LinkedIn says it will launch a recruitment website without social media features to replace mainland services. The company said it decided to withdraw because of the challenging business environment and harsh compliance requirements on the mainland.