Google China keep license

The google.cn search site will stop automatically redirecting users to Google’s uncensored search portal in Hong Kong — instead, visitors will be required to click a link to access the Hong Kong site, Google said on Tuesday.

The move comes ahead of a Wednesday deadline for China to renew Google’s operating license. Google said Beijing had made it clear it was unhappy with the company’s three-month old system of re-routing Chinese Web surfers to google.com.hk.

“Without an ICP license, we can’t operate a commercial website like Google.cn so Google would effectively go dark in China,” wrote Google Chief Legal Officer David Drummond on the company’s corporate blog.

The website tweak is Google’s latest attempt to strike a delicate balance between standing up to China’s policy of Internet censorship while maintaining a presence in a market considered key to its future growth.

If accessed from mainland China, the Hong Kong search engine does not offer unfettered access to information the government wants blocked as domestic firewalls prevent connections to many websites that Beijing objects to.

The Google.hk.com site is also periodically unavailable from mainland China, and searches can be unstable.

At least three other licenses for Google business units in China are due for renewal in June, said industry experts.

Source : Konaxis

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