Chinese search engines Alibaba and Baidu have removed Israel’s official name from their digital maps. The development comes against the backdrop of the ongoing differences between major world powers over the international community’s response to the Israeli offensive in Gaza.

Baidu’s Chinese language online maps have been altered to outline Israel’s internationally recognised borders, Palestinian territories, and key cities. However, they no longer identify the country by name. Smaller nations like Luxembourg are fully labelled on these maps, while Israel’s name is absent. Only the city names are visible.

Both Alibaba and Baidu have refrained from providing any official explanation for this significant omission.

Over the past month, criticism of Israel has surged on the Chinese internet. Comments and posts containing strong criticisms of Isreal’s actions have gained substantial attention and engagement.

One Chinese nationalist commentator’s message on Weibo platform attracted widespread attention. The commentator warned West against cornering others and highlighted historical persecution, stating, “In the past, Germany persecuted you. Now, you persecute Palestinians. In this world, do not force others to the corner because you would only be digging your own grave.”

Chinese media has also criticised the United States for its stance on the Gaza conflict. Chinese President Xi Jinping himself expressed support for Palestine, emphasising the need to rectify historical injustices suffered by the Palestinians. He made these remarks during the Riyadh-Gulf-Chinese Summit for Cooperation and Development in Saudi Arabia.