Microsoft says Bing has been blocked in China

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Microsoft's Bing search engine was inaccessible in China on Thursday, with social media users fearing it could be the latest foreign website to be blocked by censors.

Earlier in the day, the Financial Times cited a source that said that a state-owned Chinese telecoms firm had confirmed that the government had ordered a block on the service. Google exited the Chinese market in 2010 but was reported to be developing a censored search engine that could get it back into the country. Chinese Internet users posted on social networking information that are unable to access the website, while users outside the country can still get access to this version of the site.

"We've confirmed that Bing is now inaccessible in China and are engaged to determine next steps", a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to Fox News.

"We've confirmed that Bing is now inaccessible in China and are engaged to determine next steps", a Microsoft spokesperson said in a brief statement, hours after saying the company was investigating the matter.

Yesterday, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) singled out Tencent's news app for spreading so-called "vulgar information". With this, the Redmond, Washington based company has joined the list of US-based tech giant being prohibited from operating in the country.

Users in China began noticing Bing was no longer accessible on Wednesday, which prompted Microsoft to investigate.

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The second reason the decision is notable now is a result of Google's planned search product for the China market, a project known internally as Dragonfly and one that's caused an huge backlash from both within and outside the company.

In order to appease the Chinese government Microsoft also allowed real-time interception of Skype messages within the country. Microsoft Bans Cryptocurrency Ads on Bing Search Engine.

Neither Microsoft, nor Chinese authorities have explained the extended outage, but GreatFire, the group dedicated to analysing the behaviour of the internet behind the country's draconian firewall said that it's likely not to have been a government dictem after all.

Because of Google's nonattendance, state-controlled Baidu has emerged as the nation's leading search provider, controlling more than 70 percent of the market.

Google recently suffered a backlash and protests from its employees over the company's covert attempt to get back into China.