Disable Bing will make Microsoft's latest American technology company, blocked the so-called "Great Chinese Firewall" of censorship, the WhatsApp service has been disabled in 2017. State-owned telecom giant China Unicom reportedly confirmed the government specifically requested the block, though no other specifics were shared.
"We've confirmed that Bing is now inaccessible in China and are engaged to determine next steps", a Microsoft spokesperson said in an email to GeekWire. The company closed that after hacking attacks aimed at stealing Google's source code and breaking into email accounts were traced to China.
Chinese tech company, Baidu, which controls about 70 percent of the market, complies with government censorship policies.
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Microsoft's setback comes as China and the United States are locked in a widening confrontation over technology and access to each other's markets that experts warn could be the start of an economic cold war. The news should perhaps come as little surprise - it was only a matter of time before the Chinese government also banned Microsoft's service after having banned most, if not all, of Google's products there. Beijing blocks social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as several foreign news sites.
In order to appease the Chinese government Microsoft also allowed real-time interception of Skype messages within the country.
Those next steps are presumably calling up the Chinese authorities and asking what the company did to fall foul of the alleged DNS redirect of doom.
"Is it really necessary to force me to use these garbage domestic search engines?" said a comment Thursday on Sina Weibo.
Chinese tech firm Baidu is the dominant player, accounting for 70% of the market a year ago, according to research firm StatCounter. According to Bloomberg, users are once again able to access the search engine in the country.
Twitter is blocked, but it has an office in the country, due to the fact that many Chinese use the service overseas.