DuckDuckGo has been blocked in China, according to Tech in Asia who reported on this after noticing first hand over the weekend. On Sunday, DuckDuckGo founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg confirmed on Twitter that they did get blocked in China. Ever since DuckDuckGo launched it had been working fine in mainland China. But now the search engine is totally blocked.
— Gabriel Weinberg (@yegg) September 21, 2014
At the time the news broke, Weinberg noted that he has “no idea” when it happened exactly. However, it has since been determined when exactly they were blocked in China. If you go on the Great Fire censorship monitoring site and conduct a search for duckduckgo.com you will find that the search engine first blocked around September 3rd.
Great Fire works by pinging a range of URLs on a regular basis to identify whether they are blocked. Further testing confirms that DuckDuckGo is still blocked at the time of this writing.
DuckDuckGo is now equal to Google in one aspect — they are both blocked in China. Google made the decision to turn off its servers in mainland China after years of being pummelled by China’s firewall. China officially blocked Google in June of this year.
Now, the only North American search engines that work in China are those that have Chinese servers, such as Bing and Yahoo. However, even those search engines are heavily censored, having to operate under Chinese media laws.
The search engine market in China is dominated by its own search engines, Baidu and Qihoo, and it appears it’s going to be that way for some time to come.