China to Authorize Google’s ICP Licence Renewal

Google is obviously frowned upon by the Chinese government, and this is the reason for China’s internet being deprived of everything which is Google. The world’s most populous country is probably the 

only place on earth where Google is having lots of trouble to do well. However, Google is not going to lose its presence in the Chinese search engine market as the Chinese government has finally decided to renew Google’s ICP (Internet Content Provider) licence for Google.cn, which will allow Google to continue its operation in China as a search engine.

As a word of reminder, earlier this year Google refused to censor results on Google.cn, which led the company to close down its Chinese portal, redirecting all Google.cn users to its site in Hong Kong, which is, oddly enough, not subject to China’s online censorship. Now if you head to Google.cn from within mainland China, you’ll either have to do an extra click that will take you to the Google.com.hk site or use a number of services running on the Chinese version. The magic link, placed on the Google.cn website, that lets users manually redirect their search requests to Google.com.hk, has worked its magic and had Google its ICP licence renewed.

Google has always tried to maintain its anti-censorship principles while protecting its economic interests. On the other hand, Chine seems to realize now that losing the world’s leader in search engineering, Google, will set back its innovation efforts. And Google has already threatened to leave China over the censorship issues and hack attacks coming from the country for good.

China does not make much money for Google, accounting for an estimated $250 million to $600 million of the company’s planned $28 billion in revenue this year. Nevertheless, the number of Internet users in China amounts to 384 million, which is a lot more than the nearly 200 million in the United States. Even if Google does not outperform China’s search giant Baidu, experts have estimated that Google may still be able to bring in $ 5-6 billion in annual revenue from the country in the next few years.

An earlier post from Google’s chief legal officer, David Drummond, expressed the company’s desire to continue operation in China: “As a company we aspire to make information available to users everywhere, including China. It’s why we have worked so hard to keep Google.cn alive, as well as to continue our research and development work in China”.

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