Microsoft Faces Heat from US Senators Over Bing's Censorship in China

Zinger Key Points
  • Sen. Rubio criticizes Microsoft for complying with China's censorship, highlighting Bing's filtered content.
  • Human rights groups and US Senators raise concerns over Microsoft's AI lab and Bing's operations in China.

Microsoft Corp MSFT has come under fire from a second U.S. Senator, intensifying the scrutiny over its operations in China, especially after a Bloomberg Businessweek investigation revealed the extent of Bing search engine’s censorship within the country. 

Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, criticized Microsoft’s compliance with the Chinese government’s censorship demands, stating that no U.S. company should defend such actions. 

This criticism follows revelations that Bing has increasingly filtered out content related to human rights, democracy, climate change, and more to align with Beijing’s policies, Bloomberg reports.

Also Read: Microsoft’s LinkedIn Slashes 716 Jobs Under Its China Strategy

Senator Rubio emphasized that American companies operating in China inadvertently support the Chinese Communist Party’s objectives against the United States. 

Earlier, Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, urged Microsoft to consider ceasing Bing’s operations in China.

Human rights organizations have also voiced their unease, with Human Rights Watch urging Microsoft to disclose its content removal practices and reconsider its presence in China if it implicates them in human rights abuses. 

Separately, executives at Microsoft, including CEO Satya Nadella and President Brad Smith, have discussed the future of their artificial intelligence lab in Beijing. 

U.S. lawmakers, including Senator Josh Hawley and Representative Mike Gallagher, have warned about the risks associated with technological collaborations with China, particularly the misuse of AI by the Chinese government.

In 2023, Smith and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao convened to deliberate on artificial intelligence and trade ties between the U.S. and China. 

This meeting continues diplomatic efforts following a discussion between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, showcasing both countries’ dedication to collaborating in areas such as AI and enhancing the business landscape for international firms.

Microsoft stock has gained over 55% in the last 12 months. Investors can gain exposure to the stock via IShares Global Tech ETF IXN and Fidelity MSCI Information Technology Index ETF FTEC.

Price Action: MSFT shares are trading higher by 0.84% at $428.80 premarket on the last check Thursday.

Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of AI tools and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

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