BEIJING, Oct 22 (Reuters) – Tencent’s (0700.HK) WeChat has made its content searchable on some foreign search engines such as Alphabet-owned Google (GOOGL.O) and Microsoft’s (MSFT.O) Bing, Reuters checks showed, in the latest tearing down of “walled gardens” in China’s internet sector.
Content from China’s most popular messaging app WeChat, including articles and videos on its popular public accounts page, a function similar to a news portal, has opened to external search engines, other than Tencent’s own Sogou search engine, in recent days.
Tencent, Google and Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Google is not available in China.
China’s internet sector has been long dominated by a handful of technology giants who have historically blocked each others rivals’ links as well as their search crawlers. The practice is often referred to as ‘walled gardens’.
In recent months, this practice has been targeted by Chinese authorities as part of a sweeping regulatory crackdown.
Last month, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) ordered companies to stop blocking links, which they said has affected users’ experience and damaged consumer rights. read more
The MIIT has been studying plans and conducting research to make WeChat content available on external search engines, according to a person with direct…