China Government asks Microsoft to suspend auto-suggestion on Bing

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Microsoft’s search engine Bing said it had been asked by “relevant government authorities” to suspend its auto-suggestion feature in China for seven days. Bing is the only main foreign search engine approved for use in China.

Last December, Bing China suspended its search auto-suggestion feature in mainland China for 30 days. The suspension comes as Beijing continues to clamp down on technology platforms and algorithms.

Chinese netizens first spotted the suspension on Saturday.

“Bing is a global search platform and stays dedicated to respecting the rule of regulation and users’ proper to get admission to information,” Bing China said in an announcement posted on its Chinese search site.

Bing did not specify the reason for the suspension. Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Microsoft Bing is a search engine launched by Microsoft in 2009 to replace the previous “Online Search” (Live Search). Since its launch in 2006, “Online Search” has lagged far behind industry giants Google Inc. and Internet portal Yahoo! Inc.

Over the past year, Chinese internet companies have come under pressure from regulators, who have introduced new restrictions on everything from content to customer privacy.

In August, China’s top internet regulator released draft rules that dictate what internet platforms can and cannot use algorithms.

The final version of the regulation came into effect this month.

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