Revealed: How Microsoft in China censors truth about Uyghur ‘genocide’

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Microsoft, the world’s most valuable company, is “erasing” the suffering of the persecuted Uyghur minority from internet searches in China.
Results from the tech giant’s Bing search engine show how its Chinese users are presented with different results from American users.
And in the most egregious example, Bing image results for the term “Uyghur” when entered in China display cheerful Uyghurs smiling and dancing — part of a larger propaganda effort to persuade the world Uyghurs lead idyllic lives under Chinese rule.
The Chinese Communist regime in Beijing has run a scorched earth campaign against the Uyghurs, a predominantly-Muslim ethnic minority officially number 12 million people living in Xinjiang province, in the far west of China, which has included imprisoning more than one million in concentration camps since 2017 — and has been officially declared a “genocide” by the State Department.
The U.N. has accused China of “serious human rights violations” but Beijing has denied committing abuses and has even suggested the claims are from “anti-China voices trying to smear China.”
These are the contrasting results of searching on Bing for “Uighurs,” also spelled Uyghurs, in the U.S. and in China. Microsoft offers its search engine in China where the Communist Party regime is accused of “genoicide” against the minority ethnic group.
Detailed results asking for images of “Uighurs” on Bing in the US show references to “suffering,” “oppression” and “mass detention.” Thos are words China objects to. And the images also show people wearing blue masks in protest, some of them with a hand in the colors of Communist China over their mouths — a reference to protests for Uyghur rights which have been widespread and use the sky blue flag of the Uighur people.
These are results from a search for “Uyghurs” in Chinese on Microsoft Bing, performed using a Chinese VPN to mimic what users in China itself see. The browser used a Google Translate extension to turn results’ text into English. The images show Uyghurs dancing, singing and performing in ethnic costume. Human rights groups say that such images are part of Communist attempts to stifle the minority group by portraying them as happy to live under Beijing’s regime. None of the Chinese results show protests against human rights abuses or blue masked protesters.
Search results seen by The Post show Microsoft — founded by Bill Gates, who met Chinese leader Xi Jinping for one-on-one talks last June, and helmed by Satya Nadlla — apparently acting to help the Communist campaign by offering different results on its Bing search engine in China from those in the US.
Results from a search in the US for “Uighurs” show links to news stories which mention “oppression” and “suffering,” and images of Uyghurs wearing masks in the sky blue of the ethnic group’s flag in protest at the Chinese government.
But results using a Chinese VPN to mirror domestic Chinese results show images of Uyghur people singing and dancing.
Louisa Coan Greve, Director of Global Advocacy at Uyghur Human Rights Project told The Post that portraying Uyghur life as joyful and ignoring protests and evidence of human rights abuses was part of a systemic campaign by Beijing.
More than one million Uyghurs have been put in concentration camps since 2017. While the State Department has condemned the act as “genocide,” China denies it is committing any human rights abuses. Human Rights Watch
China’s leader Xi Jinping visited the Xinjiang region, home of the Uyghur minority, in July 2022 but his regime is described by the State Department as executing “genocide” against the majority-Muslim ethnic group. AP
“Uyghur culture is being commodified as their poets and musicians are serving 10 or 20 years in concentration camps,” Greve said.
“The CCP playbook to get away with atrocities was first to hide, and then deny, and then justify the brutality as ‘re-education.’ Now Microsoft is helping with the next step.”
A Microsoft spokesperson said: “Search results may vary due to a variety of factors including the language used. When generating search results, we return content within the original language used in the search query.
“If the same search is performed in a different language, different results may occur.”
Microsoft has faced some backlash for its involvement with China. The company came under fire when reports surfaced in 2021 it failed to display images of Tiananmen Square and didn’t auto-populate search results of individuals the CCP dislikes on its Bing search engine.
Microsoft president Brad Smith has said he hopes Microsoft will “actively participate in the digital transformation of China’s economy.” The company employs more than 10,000 researchers and developers in China and has a retail arm. Future Publishing via Getty Images
But it has not been questioned by Congress over its activities in China, where unlike Google, it offers its search engine, curating how users see the internet.
But some lawmakers are hinting that what they see as Microsoft’s ongoing appeasement of China could change the kid glove treatment it has been getting, sources said.
While there is no formal investigation, some D.C. lawmakers have suggested possibly limiting the multi-billion dollar contracts Microsoft receives from the US government.
“It might be time to rethink the U.S. government giving so much business to an entity that does the bidding of one of our chief rivals,” a spokesperson for the House Judiciary Committee said.
Mike Gallagher, the Republican chair of the House Select committee on strategic competition which China told, “American companies must not facilitate the CCP’s censorship, and instead should leverage their technology and influence to end the oppression of the Chinese people.
“Today, the CCP has figured out how to… use total party control of the internet to force foreign companies to censor according to their dictatorial demands.”
Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), who chairs the House committee on competition with China, warned “American companies must not facilitate the CCP’s censorship” after seeing the Bing search results. Getty Images
“American companies should not be doing the Chinese Communists’ dirty work and promoting their propaganda,” Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) told The Post. “These reports about Microsoft assisting an American adversary are deeply troubling.”
Microsoft — which overtook Apple in January to become the world’s most valuable company — didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The $3 trillion company’s appeasement of the CCP is especially ironic, sources add, given how outspoken the company has been on domestic issues.
“Microsoft is quick to take the moral high ground while skirting scrutiny — like when it comes to taking a position on voting rights,” one tech industry insider said.
“This is a more algorithmic form of censorship than we’ve seen before but at the end of the day the goal is the same: To appease the Chinese government.”

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