Google’s China License Renewed After All
At the end of June, Google stopped rerouting search traffic from its Chinese page, Google.cn, to its unfiltered Hong Kong page, Google.com.hk. At the time, they’d said that the Chinese government was displeased with their past refusal to comply with google.cn censorship, and that if they continued to evade filtering, the government would not renew their Internet Content Provider (ICP) license.
Well, it appears that Google and China have managed to come to an agreement. In an interview with Reuters and in an update to their initial blog post explaining their reversal on Google.cn rerouting, Google has confirmed that their ICP license has been renewed by the Chinese government and that they will continue to do business in China, albeit with censoring in place.
“China has renewed our license,” a Google spokeswoman told Reuters. “We are very pleased that the government has renewed our ICP license and we look forward to continuing to provide web search and local products to our users in China.”
Analysts said that the company’s decision to stop automatically rerouting users to its Hong Kong search page showed a willingness to compromise to maintain a foothold in China, the world’s largest Internet market by users.
Google’s brief update to their previous blog post reads as follows: “We are very pleased that the government has renewed our ICP license and we look forward to continuing to provide web search and local products to our users in China.”
One interesting tidbit from the Wall Street Journal: In premarket trading, Google stock is shooting up and Baidu stock is sinking down. As of 8:45, Google stock is up 3.86% and Baidu stock is down 5.61%.