Google Fails to Renew Licence in China
Google no longer has a license to serve as an “Internet content provider” in China, the Guardian reports:
The annual licence, which is issued by the Chinese government, expired at the end of March. Holding an ICP licence is a prerequisite for providing web and internet searches originating inside the Chinese mainland – although it can still function from Hong Kong, where it moved its main search facility to google.com.hk at the end of last month.
However certain services such as Google Maps are understood still to be hosted on google.cn, though they are being transferred as the company exits the mainland for its internet services.
Google can however still conduct research and development on its Android phone and other software inside China, as well as selling advertising to be carried on the Google search engine and associated pages.
Also related, Sina.com, China’s largest Internet portal, has said it will have to “re-evaluate” its relationship with Google. From AFP:
A spokeswoman for Sina told AFP a state media report which said the company was “re-evaluating cooperation with Google” was accurate, but declined to give further details.
“No details have been finalised,” a spokeswoman for Sina, who refused to be named, told AFP.
“Google actually owes all its business partners in China a response.”