Updated to include comment from Microsoft.
The content of Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings LTD ADR:OTC (TCEHY) is once again running afoul of the government.
On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) criticized Tencent's news app Tiantian Kuaibao for spreading "vulgar and negative information" that "harmed the internet ecosystem." In all, CAC reportedly deleted 71 million "harmful" items off the web, closed 733 websites and shut down 9,382 mobile apps.
Count search-engine Bing among them. "We've confirmed that Bing is currently inaccessible in China and are engaged to determine next steps," a Microsoft (MSFT) spokesperson said after hours. Rival Google (GOOGL) has never launched its maps product in China, and pulled its search product out of the country over censorship concerns.
It's not the first time the government has cracked down on Tencent's content. The government stopped approving new video games last year, saying they were addictive and violent, sending Tencent's stock plunging. Recently the government relaxed approvals, but it still has left Tencent sidelined for 10 months and counting; that's the last time the producer of "Honor of Kings" received approval from Chinese regulators to sell new games in China.
Tencent shares were up 0.68% to close at $42.28 Wednesday.
The company spun off its online music subsidiary Tencent Music (TME) in January and it still owns about 58% of it. Tencent Music priced at $13 and closed at $14.95 Wednesday.