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.Read on...
Censorship and License Lapses: Is Google Really About to Pull Out of China?
This past weekend, the Financial Times caused a stir when it reported that there was a "99.9 per cent chance" that Google was going to pull out of China, according to a Google insider. Now, despite official denials, Google is dropping hints left and right that it actually intends to do so.
To the left: it appears that Google has stopped censoring some of the content that it has for years, including the infamous photo of the man blocking the tank during the protests at Tiananmen Square in 1989. (Reproduced in Google.cn image search results, above.) To the right: last night, Google missed a deadline to reregister as an Internet Content Provider in China, a necessary designation under Chinese law to provide search services within the country.Read on...
China Warns Google Advertisers to Obey Censorship Laws, or Else
There may be a "99.9 per cent" chance that Google is going to shut down its Chinese engine Google.cn, as we learned this weekend, and that presents its advertising partners with a tricky choice: Stick with the company with whom they've enjoyed past success and risk bannination in the Chinese market, or defect to Chinese search engines at the cost of familiarity -- and freedom from censorship.
Now, according to the New York Times, the Chinese authorities have put their thumbs on the scale: They've warned Google's partners that to play ball in China, they're going to need to censor their search results, with or without Google.Read on...
Google.cn To Be Shut Down: “99.9 Per Cent” Chance
Sometime in December 2009, Google fended off a "sophisticated and targeted attack" in China, the goal of which seemed to be to access the accounts of Chinese human rights activists. This attack, and other attempts at the surveillance of human rights activists in China that were revealed during Google's investigation into the attack, lead Google to announce a change of policy.
From a January Google Blog post:
We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.
Well, as things so often do with large governments, a few weeks has become a few months, and yesterday, the Chinese minister for industry and information technology confirmed that if Google violated Chinese law it would be considered "unfriendly," "irresponsible," and "would have to bear the consequences."
According to the Financial Times, whose source is "familiar with the company’s thinking," Google is now preparing to close Google.cn:Read on...