China keeps Google waiting on licence decision

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China keeps Google waiting on licence decision

Warwick Ashford

Chinese authorities have still not told Google whether its licence to operate in the country will be renewed after nearly a week of waiting.

Google is hoping that the licence will be renewed after the internet company last week restored its Google.cn website and stopped redirecting all searches to its uncensored Hong Kong site.

Users are now being given a link to the company's Hong Kong page rather than automatically redirected to it.

The move was aimed at easing heightened tension with Chinese authorities that has put the licence's renewal in doubt, according to reports in New Zealand.

Chinese officials were angered by Google's attempts to flout Chinese laws that require companies to censor search results.

In March, Google decided to stop censoring Chinese language searches by shutting down its Google.cn site and redirecting traffic to its uncensored Hong Kong site.

Google's controversial move stemmed from the discovery that the organisation was among more than 20 US companies that were targeted by China-based cyber attacks in December 2009.

According to Google, ever since its licence went up for renewal on 30 June, China has blocked the Google Suggest service that provides search term and partially blocked the firm's search services.

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