It should come as no surprise that China has been moving to block multiple websites from its citizens as the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protest on June 4th approaches:
China is blocking access to Microsoft’s new search engine, Bing, and its Hotmail email service, the company said ahead of the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown.
“Microsoft’s Bing.com, Live.com and Hotmail.com are among several Internet services that have been blocked for customers in China,” Microsoft director of public affairs Kevin Kutz said in a statement received by AFP.
“We are reaching out to the government to understand this decision and find a way to move forward,” Kutz said.
“Microsoft is committed to helping advance the free flow of information, and is committed to encouraging transparency, due process and rule of law when it comes to Internet governance,” he added.
Microsoft did not say when China began blocking the sites, but Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said it had been notified by Chinese Web users that access to the websites began being blocked inside China on Tuesday.
“Reporters Without Borders is outraged by the blockage of a dozen websites such as Twitter, YouTube, Bing, Flickr, Opera, Live, WordPress and Blogger in China,” the media rights group said in a statement.
“The Chinese government stops at nothing to silence what happened 20 years ago in Tiananmen Square,” it said. “By blocking access to a dozen websites used daily by millions of Chinese citizens, the authorities have opted for censorship at any price rather than accept a debate about this event.”