Microsoft's search engine Bing - the only global search engine that was open for use in China, is currently inaccessible in the country. Microsoft has acknowledged the inaccessibility of Bing in China and said that they are deciding their future course of action.
“We’ve confirmed that Bing is currently inaccessible in China and are engaged to determine next steps,” Microsoft said in a statement.
Several users in Mainland China reported that they were unable to access "cn.bing.com," Bing's China-only website. According to reports, the Chinese government ordered a block on Bing, following which the website went offline.
The website cn.bing.com is apparently reachable in India. As per GreatFire, a group that monitors the status of websites censored by the Great Firewall of China, Bing's China-only website is blocked in China.
At the time of writing this, more details are awaited as to why the Chinese government ordered a block on Bing. Earlier this month, Bing was reportedly caught suggesting objectionable content depicting child pornography and sexual abuse.
Chinese authorities are yet to comment on the development. Back in 2017, the Chinese government ordered a block on WhatsApp Messenger.
Google services including Search and YouTube are already blocked in China. Google had initially started its China operations in 2006. Four years later, in 2010, Google pulled out of China citing the Chinese government's efforts to censor results on google.cn.
Amid massive protests, Google's censored search engine for China is reportedly being prototyped by the company with an aim to revive its presence in the country.