As we know, Microsoft’s search engine platform, Bing is the only major foreign search outlet functioning in China. But, among new developments, a “relevant government agency” of China has asked of the platform to put forward a suspension. The concerned agency wants to cease the auto-suggest feature on the engine for seven days in the country.
The halt signifies the second of the sort for the Microsoft search engine since December 2021. This time, the suspension comes in the middle of a crackdown in progress on technology platforms, along with algorithms from Beijing. Internet users in China, reports specify, first spotted the function suspended on Saturday, March 19. Hence, it is clear that the tech giant had initiated Bing’s week-long stoppage.
Microsoft Corp’s search engine platform, Bing gave a statement on its Chinese site. They remarked how the platform is essentially a global platform targeted for the purpose of providing correct information. As a search outlet, it would remain obligated to pay heed to rules of law. Along with it, respect the right of every user in China to gain access to true information.
“Bing is a global search platform and remains committed to respecting the rule of law and users’ right to access information,” Bing said on its Chinese search site.
As of now, Bing did not clearly list a specific reason for this halt that would expectantly last for a week. Moreover, even Microsoft Corp did not acknowledge any requests made for a comment on the current situation right away.
Over the past year, internet firms in China were hit with a significant regulatory crackdown. These mentioned crackdowns had led to the imposition of brand new restrictions on certain subjects. These subjects may expand as far from content to that of privacy of customers. The top cyber regulator of Beijing, China published a set of draft rules in August 2021. These rules mainly directed the ways in which internet platforms can and cannot utilise algorithms. Ultimately, a finalised version of these set of rules and regulations came into effect in March 2022.
Previously, The agency hit Microsoft’s Bing with a similar requirement in December 2021. Then, the function was suspended for 30 days, and the platform had not specified a reason either. Three months prior to that, in October 2021, Microsoft had suspended its professional social networking platform LinkedIn in China. They cited the requirement of a “more challenging operating” culture in the country.