DuckDuckGo has long promoted itself as an alternative to Google Search that won’t track your history or tweak your results, but it looks like even the privacy-focused company can’t live up to Chinese standards. The smaller search engine has was blocked in China earlier this month though the news didn’t come out until more recently.
— Gabriel Weinberg (@yegg) September 21, 2014
Over the weekend DuckDuckGo founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg confirmed the news on Twitter to a reporter from Tech in Asia. According to Great Fire, a site focused on tracking Chinese Internet censorship, the search engine was actually blocked earlier this month starting on Sept. 4. There’s no official word on why China blocked the service, though Google ran into similar issues after refusing to censor its own search results in the country.
DuckDuckGo still doesn’t command the userbase that Google does, but the smaller company saw a noticeable boost in use last year following Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks. The privacy-focused search engine also received a boost from Apple when it was added to Safari’s list of default search options earlier this year. It looks like that increased use may have backfired for DuckDuckGo, in China, because it’s now in the spotlight.