China suspends Bing's auto-suggestions due to undisclosed reasons

China is a difficult country to operate in for many tech firms due to the country's strict laws around content distribution and censorship, among many other things. In fact, Microsoft Bing is the only major foreign search engine that is still allowed in China. However, one of the search engine's features has now been slapped with a temporary suspension.

A Bing search result screenshot with Tiananmen Square in search bar and Chinese flag on the bottom

Reuters reports that a Chinese government agency has suspended Bing's auto-suggest capabilities in the country for seven days. Essentially, if you're in China, you won't be able to see suggested search queries as you're typing in the Bing search bar. The reason for the suspension has not been disclosed publicly yet but Microsoft gave the following docile statement:

Bing is a global search platform and remains committed to respecting the rule of law and users' right to access information.

It is interesting to note that this is not the first time that Bing's auto-suggestions have been suspended in China. The same thing happened in December 2021. At that time, the suspension was for 30 days and Microsoft gave the exact same statement as a response.

It's also relevant to recall that Microsoft allegedly censored image search results for the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and the iconic "Tank man" photo on the event's anniversary in June 2021. The company claims that this was due to a "human error", but that's an awfully big coincidence. The move even led to Notepad++ removing Bing search commands from its latest release at that time to protest the alleged censorship.

Source: Reuters

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