Google, which has a 30% market share of Chinese search traffic, given renewal despite recent strained relations
China has renewed Google's licence to operate in the country, the search giant announced today.
Writing on the company blog, chief legal officer David Drummond said: "We are very pleased that the government has renewed our ICP license and we look forward to continuing to provide web search and local products to our users in China."
Google – which has a 30% market share of Chinese search traffic – recently began directing Google.cn visitors to its uncensored Hong Kong site, saying the new approach ensured it stayed true to a commitment not to censor searches from internet users in China.
Relations with authorities in China have been strained since Google said it no longer wanted to cooperate with government internet censorship. The announcement was prompted by cyber attacks the company traced to China.
Google stunned markets and consumers in January when it warned it might quit the country, saying it would not provide the censored search results that China requires.
However, the Google chief executive, Eric Schmidt, said yesterday the company was confident of being granted an ICP licence extension.
Google is due to report its second-quarter financial results next week. Google's search business in China accounts for a tiny slice of the company's £15.82bn in annual revenue. Analysts' estimates of Google's annual revenues in China range from $300m to $600m, but long-term growth prospects are key.
There was no immediate word from China's Information Ministry about the renewal.
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