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31 Oct, 2023 11:07

Chinese tech giants ‘cancel’ Israel – WSJ

The Jewish sate was reportedly left unnamed on China’s leading online map services
Chinese tech giants ‘cancel’ Israel – WSJ

Israel can no longer be found on China's leading online digital maps on platforms including Baidu and Alibaba, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing web users.

According to the report, Baidu’s Chinese language maps still show the borders of both Israel and the Palestinian territories, as well as key cities in the region. However, they no longer identify Israel by name.

Alibaba’s Amap also no longer displays the name of Israel. According to the report, the platform is usually known for its attention to details, with even small countries like Luxembourg clearly labeled.

The companies did not respond to media requests for comment. According to the publication, it is unclear when exactly the name Israel was removed from their maps, but web users have apparently been discussing the development since the escalation of the Israel-Hamas conflict earlier this month.

According to local reports, the Chinese internet has been overflowing with anti-Semitic comments over the past month, which may be the reason behind the disappearance of Israel’s name from the maps. The Israeli Embassy in China was recently forced to close the comment section under its official account on the Weibo platform, following a slew of verbal attacks from users.

The Chinese government has not taken sides in the Mideast conflict, calling on the belligerents to end the hostilities and condemning attacks on civilians. However, Beijing has a long history of supporting Palestine. It recognized the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1964 and Palestinian sovereignty in 1988, and later established full diplomatic relations with the Palestinian Authority in 1989.

During his visit to Saudi Arabia in 2022, Chinese President Xi Jinping called the fact that the global community still largely does not recognize Palestine as a country a “historical injustice,” and said China will support the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

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