China’s government renews Google’s internet license

7 September 2011 18 h 23 min 13 comments

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Google Inc. announced today  in an e-mailed statement that China’s government renewed the company’s Internet license. “We can confirm that the government has renewed our Internet Content Provider (ICP) license,” Google said without giving any more details. According to WSJ, “Wang Lijian, director of the news office of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, a main Internet regulator, said the government renewed for another year the Internet Content Provider license that Google uses in China, a license required of all locally operated websites”. The commercial license allows Google to operate its local Web portal, Google.cn, and continue syndicating search results to other local search engines.

During the 2 last years, the world’s most popular search engine has lost most of its market share in China’s search market to Baidu Inc., its chinese competitor. In January 2010, Google refused to comply with China’s requirements for Websites to self-censor content and two months later, Google left mainland China and start to redirect Chinese users to an unfiltered site in Hong Kong. Google continues to use its mainland Chinese address for music and certain other services, without redirecting users to Hong Kong but another Google’s major service, YouTube is also blocked in mainland China like other international social-networking websites run by Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc.

According to China-based Analysys International, Google China’s market share in the second quarter slid 0.3 percent to 18.9 percent of the online search market against 75.9 percent for Baidu. In 2009, at its three-year peak, Google China held 35.6 percent of the market versus Baidu’s 58.4 percent.

China, the world’s largest Internet market with 485 million Web users at the end of June.

IN THE PRESS:

. “Google’s Internet License for China Renewed Amid Battle for Market Share” (Bloomberg, 7/09/2011)
. “China Renews Google’s Internet License as Local Market Share Dwindles” (PC Mag, 7/09/2011)
. “Chinese Regulators Renew Key License For Google” (Wall Street Journal, 7/09/2011)

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