ood news for all you non-VPN users out there, you don’t have to switch over to Yandex or Baidu just yet because Bing is back, baby!
After cn.bing.com, the emasculated version of Bing’s search engine built to please Chinese censors, became inaccessible in mainland China for much of Wednesday and Thursday, news outlets across the world began reporting that Bing had unceremoniously been shoved behind the Great Firewall.
Citing a source familiar with the matter, the Financial Times even reported that China Unicom had been ordered to block Bing for “illegal content” and Microsoft itself acknowledged that its search engine was inaccessible, adding that it was “engaged in determining the next step.”
However, only a few hours later, Bing’s Chinese search engine suddenly became usable once more. Praise be! Praise be!
While these kinds of machinations are par for the course for China’s fickle net nanny, Bloomberg has said that, contrary to earlier reporting, Bing’s temporary inaccessibility in China was actually due to an accidental technical error rather than an attempt at censorship, citing sources familiar with the matter. The exact truth may never be known.
Though Bing may be the world’s most mocked search engine, it is one of the very few foreign alternatives to Baidu still available to Chinese net users. Google infamously scrapped its own China search engine back in 2010 and Yahoo search became blocked last August, meaning that, in China, Bing actually does have some fans.