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China renews Google’s operating licence

Beijing: After months of confrontation with China over the censorship issue, American web search giant Google said that Beijing has renewed its licence to operate in the world’s largest internet market.

It is still not clear what brought about the turnaround in the rocky relationship between the two sides that had forced Google to shift its Chinese search engine to Hong Kong which had a more liberal environment.

“We are very pleased that the government has renewed our ICP (internet content provider) licence and we look forward to continuing to provide web search and local products to our users in China,” Google’s chief legal officer David Drummond said an e-mailed statement, without giving further details.

It appears that the undertaking given by Google on June 30 pledging to abide by the rules, which included intrusive censors which the search engine had objected to earlier, made the Chinese government to relent.

The licence was renewed in response to an application submitted by Guxiang Information Technology Co. Ltd., the operator of Google.cn, which pledged to abide by the rules.

The application was made ‘almost at the same time’ Drummond posted a blog post, saying Google was committed ‘not to self-censor.’

Guxiang had said it would ‘ensure the company will provide no law-breaking contents as stated in the 57th statement in China’s regulations concerning telecommunications.’

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