China denies censoring Israel on maps

November 01, 2023

Chinese and other social media users expressed shock this week after finding that Israel was not explicitly demarcated as a country on Baidu and Alibaba’s online digital maps. A Semafor review of both mapping services found that Baidu Maps and Amap did not automatically display labels for either Israel or Palestine. But it did not demarcate Israel’s Tel Aviv or the disputed city of Jerusalem, which were both displayed on Baidu Maps. “Users can find corresponding countries or areas on Baidu Maps by simply using the map’s search function,” he said. When Semafor tried searching for Israel, Baidu Maps did navigate to the country, though it still wasn’t labeled.