China renews www.google.cn operating licence

China has renewed Google's licence to operate as an internet content provider (ICP) more than a week after it had expired.

China has renewed Google's licence to operate as an internet content provider (ICP) more than a week after it had expired.

Tensions had been high between Google and China since the internet search firm decided to stop censoring Chinese language searches by shutting down its Google.cn site and redirecting traffic to its uncensored Hong Kong site in March.

The internet firm's tough stance on censorship stemmed from the discovery that the Google was among more than 20 US companies targeted by China-based cyber attacks in December 2009.

Google backed down on censorship recently by removing the automatic divert.

The move was aimed at easing tension with Chinese authorities, which observers have suggested may have put the licence's renewal in doubt.

Shortly afterwards, Chinese officials said the licence renewal was under consideration after a late application.

Days later, Google confirmed the licence renewal in an update to a June blog post that described plans to stop the automatic redirects.

"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," the update said.

Eric Schmidt, chief executive at Google, said at an industry conference a few days before that he expected the licence to be renewed.

News of the licence renewal lifted Google's share price almost 2% on Friday.

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