Privacy-Savvy Search Engine DuckDuckGo Blocked in China

Search engine users in China got a rude awakening when they realized last week that DuckDuckGo had been blocked or was temporarily unavailable.

CNet reported on the story when they found a tweet from DuckDuckGo chief executive (CEO) and founder Gabriel Weinberg. DuckDuckGo is another in a long line of search engines or Web properties to be banned in China.

Unlike its counterparts Google and Bing, DuckDuckGo has made it very clear that the privacy of its users is of the utmost importance. And perhaps because of this, the search engine has seen increasing popularity over the past year. In fact, it reached more than 1 billion searches in 2013. 

It is still unclear exactly how much of DuckDuckGo’s traffic comes from China, but apparently it is enough for people to begin noticing.

According to Greatfire.org, DuckDuckGo.com is 98 percent blocked in China and it appears that the block may have started around September 3, 2014.

New to DuckDuckGo?

DuckDuckGo focuses on three core value propositions for users:

  • Privacy: No personal information is collected or shared.
  • Smarter Search: Offering features such as instant answers, !bangs, and keyboard shortcuts allows for faster and smarter search.
  • Less Clutter: There is little interest in promoting other products or services, which eliminates the need for as many advertisements.

duckduckgo-home-page

If you want to learn more about DuckDuckGo from founder Gabriel Weinberg, click here to watch a podcast where he describes his product and why it’s beneficial for users.

It seems that search engines are trying to strike the delicate balance between following the orders of the Chinese government and providing access to uncensored information. But no matter how you slice it, China is purposefully making it hard for its people to access information they wish to remain unseen.

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