According to a recent report by the Wall Street Journal, Chinese tech companies Alibaba and Baidu have omitted the name of Israel from their online maps. However, the maps still show the internationally recognized borders of Israel, as well as Palestinian territories and nearby countries such as Cyprus, Jordan, and Iraq. It is unclear whether this omission is a new development, but Chinese internet users have been discussing it since the recent Hamas terrorist attack on October 7.
Spokespeople for Alibaba and Baidu have not yet commented on the issue. However, Baidu spokesman Jing Meng denied deliberately excluding Israel from the maps, stating that in cases where space is limited, certain territories may not display names or flags. He also mentioned that users can still find Israel on Baidu Maps by using the search function.
China has a history of advocating for a two-state solution that allows for an independent Palestinian state. Throughout the recent conflict, Chinese officials, including Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Middle East envoy Zhai Jun, have called for an immediate ceasefire and supported humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people. China has not condemned Hamas directly but has expressed opposition to all forms of attacks on civilians.
Despite the official stance of the Chinese government, social media users in China have reportedly been posting antisemitic content and expressing support for Palestine. However, it is important to note that these views do not represent the official position of the Chinese government.
In conclusion, Chinese tech companies Alibaba and Baidu have omitted the name of Israel from their online maps, although the borders of Israel are still depicted. China has expressed support for a two-state solution and called for a ceasefire in the recent conflict. While some social media users in China have posted antisemitic content and expressed support for Palestine, these views do not reflect the official position of the Chinese government.