Researchers from Citizen Lab, a cyber security research group based at the University of Toronto in Canada, found that eight search platforms operating in China are using more than 60,000. unique censorship rules. It is interesting that the most carefully censored is the only foreign search engine operating in the country – Microsoft’s Bing search engine.
After analyzing eight search platforms available in China – Baidu, Baidu Zhidao, Bilibili, Microsoft Bing, Douyin, Jingdong, Sogou and Weibo – Citizen Lab reports that it has detected more than 60 thousand unique censorship rules that partially or fully censor search results on these platforms.
The study explored different levels of censorship affecting each platform, which can either completely block all results or selectively allow some results, according to the organization’s website.
It found that while Baidu, Bing’s main competitor in China, has more censorship rules than Microsoft Bing, Bing’s political censorship rules are more extensive and have affected more search results than Baidu.
In addition, Bing has moderately limited the display of search results from a larger number of website domains.
“These findings cast doubt on the ability of non-Chinese tech companies to resist censorship demands better than their Chinese counterparts and bode ill for the ability of other non-Chinese tech companies to launch search products or other services in China without at least as much restriction on political and religious expression as their competitors.” in China,” reads the Citizen Lab website.