China has extended its massive firewall by blocking Microsoft’s Corp's Bing search engine as Beijing tightens restrictions over what content its citizens can view online.
“We’ve confirmed that Bing is currently inaccessible in China and are engaged to determine next steps,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to Fox News.
A search on Bing China’s website from mainland China directs users to a page that says the server cannot be reached. The setback is Microsoft’s latest since 2017 when its Skype internet phone call and messaging service was dropped from Apple and Android app stores, Reuters reported.
Bing was the only major foreign search engine available through China’s Great Firewall – the Chinese government’s control over media in an attempt to crack down on dissent. The company had censored search results on certain topics to comply with government policy, the news agency said.
In December, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company had no "plans for us to launch a search product in China" and that it was continuing to study the idea in the midst of the country’s ongoing scrutiny of tech firms.