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China Threatens Google's ICP License Following Redirect

China Threatens Google's ICP License Following Redirect

After redirecting Google.cn users to the Hong Kong landing page, Google may lose its Chinese licence to operate.

The Chinese government has spoken out about Google's new initiative to redirect users, saying that the decision is simply unacceptable.

The government has told Google it will not renew its Internet Content Provider (ICP) license if this redirection continues.

The ICP licence in question is up for renewal on June 30, and the government have wanred that the company will be shut out of one of the biggest web markets in the world if it doesn't get renewed.

David Drummond, Google's chief legal officer stated in a blog post: "Without an ICP license, we can't operate a commercial website like Google.cn - so Google would effectively go dark in China."

Google has started directing a small number of Google.cn users to an alternative landing page on Google.cn that links to the Hong Kong page. Over the next few days all users will be redirected to this same webpage.

David Drummond stated: "This approach ensures we stay true to our commitment not to censor our results on Google.cn and gives users access to all of our services from one page.

"We are therefore hopeful that our license will be renewed on this basis so we can continue to offer our Chinese users services via Google.cn."

Google's dispute with China started back in January this year when it stated that it was no longer willing to censor results on the Google.cn website. The situation has been tense and immobile since then with neither side making any comprimises on the issue.

Google says it hopes this new technique of redirecting users to a landing page will mean that a licence will be now be granted.


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