Microsoft’s Bing search engine has become inaccessible in China, according to a report from the Financial Times, making it the latest American technology service apparently blocked in China. Internet users within mainland China earlier on Thursday started having difficulty accessing cn.bing.com whereas the site was very much accessible to users outside China at the same time. For all who tried to access the website within China, it showed one clear message: “This site can't be reached”.

Some anonymous sources have confirmed Bing ban in China, disclosing that the Bing search engine ban orders was from the government, according to state-owned telecom China Unicom. As of now, it is yet unclear the reason behind the action.

Microsoft on its path has released a statement saying: “we’ve confirmed that Bing is currently inaccessible in China and are engaged to determine next steps."

It’s not an unusual report to have China block a western website from its very much restrictive internet. Twitch was a victim in September, whereas for years now, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have been banned permanently.  However, two reasons could have been responsible for the ban on the search engine. Recall that Microsoft’s Bing search engine happens to be among the services created by a US company to remain available regardless of its competition with local government-connected services. It’s obvious that Bing is still functioning because Microsoft showed a willingness to comply with the censorship policies of the Chinese government. But right now, it seems that isn’t enough for China. From observations, China has become increasingly stringent with its control over the internet since President Xi Jinping’s regime. China describes this heavy internet censor as a form of information control.

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Another possible apparent reason, why this decision was taken by the Chinese government is the planned Google search product for the China market. This project (internally known as Dragonfly) has attracted serious backlash both internally and externally while the project is being built. Prior to 2010, Google was in full operation in China before it eventually pulled out as a form of protest to the government’s free speech and access to information policies.

When Google pulled out of China, the country’s search market was now dominated by state-controlled Baidu. Baidu has over 70 percent of the market whereas Bing could only boast of about 2 percent of the China search market. Currently, Google considers the China market as a growth opportunity. Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai last month while addressing Congress insisted that Google’s plans for the China market are ready to be explored. What came as a blow to Dragonfly was when Google shut down the 265.com dummy search engine last month. This search engine redirected to Baidu and served as data collection on things searched for by Chinese users. The shutdown of this data-collection which is part of the Dragonfly project came in response to increasing internal backlash.

Attentions are now turned to see how successful Google will be carrying out its project with Bing off the radar now. For now, it’s clear that Bing is gone even though the reasons are still unclear at the moment.