The end of American influence
The Microsoft-owned Bing search engine was blocked in the People’s Republic of China, reports theFinancial Times. It was the last foreign search engine operating in China, after blocking Google in 2010.
The last time the restrictive sanctions of Beijing in 2017 touched the WhatsApp messenger owned by Facebook. The social network itself has been blocked in China for the past ten years.
According to statistics, as of December 2018, Bing accounted for only 2% of all searches for Chinese citizens. As a comparison, we can look at the statistics of the leading search engine used in the country – Baidu – accounting for 70% of the national searches. However, Bing was the only search engine working in English.
Access to Bing was restricted by the decision of the Chinese authorities. The reason is the presence of “illegal content” on the site, which is the standard reason for blocking foreign companies in the PRC.
Microsoft has been observing Chinese laws for many years and has obediently filtered traffic at the request of the authorities, which allowed Bill Gates’ company to remain longer in the country’s market.
In addition, programs from Microsoft, including the Windows operating system, are widely used in China.
By order of Beijing, Microsoft even developed a special version of Windows for the Chinese government.
In January 2019, the company opened its research center in Shanghai.
However, this did not help Microsoft keep its search engine. Experts believe that the cause of a sudden change in mood may be the deterioration of relations between the United States and China, as well as the ongoing trade war.
“While the tension between America and China is growing, the blocking of sites by telecommunications companies, ordered by the state, shows that China can forever abandon the presence of foreign players in the market,” said Duncan Clark, chief consultant for investment company BDA China.
According to him, governmentsrarely go back down after they begin to sharply tighten the screws.
In early January of this year, it became known that in the United States they intend to limit the activities of China’s telecommunications companies in the country.
According to sources, an executive decree is currently being prepared, implying restrictions for those companies in the telecommunications sector that are related to the Chinese authorities and businesses in the United States – this is done for national security reasons.
In turn, earlier, the Chinese court decided to suspend the sale in China of seven models of iPhones by American company Apple . Such an exchange of sanctions continues from the very beginning of the trade war, and there is no end in sight for it.
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