Two of China's largest tech companies removed Israel's name from their online maps. The move comes as the communist country's government-controlled internet is rampant with anti-Semitic messages.
On both online maps—provided by Baidu, the dominant search engine tech company in China, and Alibaba, the state's top e-commerce marketplace—Israel's borders are marked without a label, even though Israel is an internationally recognized nation, the Wall Street Journal reported.
While China's government has tried to appear neutral in the Hamas-Israel conflict, messaging from its state-controlled media shows otherwise.
While smaller nations, such as Luxembourg, are clearly named on Baidu's and Alibaba's maps, Israel is only marked by two of its major cities.
When Hamas brutally attacked Israel on Oct. 7, leaving over 1,400 Israelis dead, the Chinese Communist Party responded with calls for a ceasefire and peace talks.
"To end the cycle of conflict between Palestine and Israel, it is essential to restart the peace talks, implement the two-state solution and settle the Palestinian question fully and properly through political means," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said in a statement two days after the attack.
Though China's Middle East diplomacy remains ambiguous, its state-controlled internet has been flooded with anti-Semitic, pro-Palestinian messaging.
"Jews always talk about how badly they were treated during World War II and throughout history. But you can't ask why. Otherwise, you are called a racist or that you envy their money," one commentator said in a post with over 2,000 likes on Weibo, a Chinese state-monitored social media platform.
A prominent professor of international relations at Shanghai's Fudan University, Shen Yi, "likened Israel's attacks to acts of aggression perpetrated by Nazis," the New York Times reported.
The state-sponsored newspaper China Daily on Monday published an editorial that declared the United States on the "wrong side of history in Gaza" and criticized Washington for "blindly backing Israel."
Neither Baidu nor Alibaba have explained the reason for removing Israel from their maps, according to Indian news source WION.