What you need to know
- Bing is the sole big-name foreign search engine in China.
- Its auto-suggest function has received a seven-day suspension order from a Chinese government agency.
- This isn't the first time Bing and China haven't gotten along.
Bing persists in China, despite the difficulties foreign search engines have maintaining themselves in the country. And as a reward for its persistence, the engine is now getting smacked with a suspension order.
Specifically, its auto-suggest function earned its seven-day punishment from an unnamed Chinese government agency (via Reuters). According to Reuters, this is what Bing's Chinese site had to say: "Bing is a global search platform and remains committed to respecting the rule of law and users' right to access information." The suspension was first noted on Saturday, though the reason behind it remains unknown.
This is the second time Bing's been dinged by a government-ordered suspension since December 2021. And it's far from the first time China and Bing have stirred the international news pot. Back in June 2021, the famous Tiananmen Square 'Tank Man' picture mysteriously went missing from Bing right on the anniversary of the protests. Microsoft claimed the whole situation was a case of "human error," with little else to clarify the coincidence.
China isn't just going after Bing; it's going harder on search engines and internet platforms in general. Take, for example, its recently introduced ruleset on algorithms. And China's government is far from the only one concerned with algorithms. The British government went so far as to ask Microsoft when the company was going to "get rid" of algorithms, though that line of questioning came off as out of touch to certain commentators.
In any event, despite a slap on the wrist, Bing stays active in China. For now.
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Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.