Internet users in China had to go for two days without access to Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Bing search. There has been grumbling among Chinese users over the Communist Party’s increasingly stringent measures on online censorship.
In a statement on Friday, Microsoft indicated that access to the Bing Search got restored. However, the statement did not state the reason for the disruption nor did they provide any other details on the same.
Users took to social media platforms to criticize and accuse regulators of obstructing information access. The comments on social media saw users complain that they were forced to use the Chinese Search engine that delivered abysmal results.
Bing complies with censorship rules
The Chinese government has tightened its online censorship rules in a bid to control online activity. Bing already is compliant with the Chinese government censorship rules by ensuring that foreign sites blocked by government filter from search results.
China’s Cyberspace Administration agency that is responsible for the enforcement of online censorship has so far not given any response as to why Bing got blocked.
The Chinese Communist Party government encourages internet use for education and business only. Access to foreign sites is blocked and run by human rights and Tibet activists, news organizations and others considered subversive.
Blocking internet access
Xi Jinping since coming to power has upheld the notion of internet sovereignty where Beijing has control to dictate what their citizens can see and do online.
Major social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are blocked through Chinese filters and are not accessible. The government argues that if such services were allowed to operate they pose national security threats.
The government has equally tightened control of access through VPN technology that can evade filters.
Google’s unit Alphabet Inc. that operated a search engine in China that excluded blocked sites closed down in China following hacking claims traced to China. As a result, Chinese engines such as Baidu.com have flourished although there are several complaints that most of its search results irrelevant.