Updated Chinese internet users have today found themselves unable to access Microsoft's search engine, Bing.
The outage for the Windows giant's wannabe Google Search began early this morning and while Microsoft has yet to give a clue as to why or how long the search engine will remain AWOL, a spokesbod did at least confirm the issue, telling The Register:
"We've confirmed that Bing is currently inaccessible in China and are engaged to determine next steps."
Those next steps are presumably calling up the Chinese authorities and asking what the company did to fall foul of the alleged DNS redirect of doom.
It all seems a little unfair on the gang at Redmond, who have done much to reassure Beijing that its products meet the needs of the government, including opening a so-called Transparency Center in China back in 2016 and releasing a special cut of Windows 10 with some extra special security "features" demanded by China's government.
Indeed, as recently as last Thursday, Microsoft was flinging investment and tech China's way, launching an incubator in Nanchang, Jiangxi province in southeast China, focusing on Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality.
The Middle Kingdom, as we noted back in June 2018, just loves Virtual Reality, although Microsoft's move is geared more towards industry rather than the home.
While China has remained tightlipped on why the search engine has mysteriously become inaccessible, it has happened surprisingly quickly after the leading (and Chinese government darling) Chinese search engine, Baidu, received a bit of a kicking over the quality of its service, according to a Reuters report.
Far be it from us to suggest the two events might be connected.
Other than the canned statement, Microsoft has also kept silent. That, however, has not stopped former luminaries of the Windows giant wringing their hands in despair at the situation. ®
Microsoft search engine Bing is blocked in China https://t.co/i4jv3JRPFM // No idea what is going on--based on this I am sad. Since 2003 or so had we worked so hard to be successful there. Even went and lived there, built relationships. China's Pres. visited US and more. 💔— Steven Sinofsky (@stevesi) January 24, 2019
And it's back. According to a Microsoft spokesperson, "“We can confirm that Bing was inaccessible in China, but service is now restored.”
When pressed by The Register for a more detailed explanation of the outage, the company (which is usually very open when it comes to the causes of service wobbles, told us it had nothing further to share on the matter.