Beijing renews Google's licence for China market

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The Independent Online

The Chinese government has renewed Google's licence to operate in China, drawing a line under their recent battles.

The US internet giant caused waves in January by refusing to censor search results as the Beijing regime wanted. Google closed its China search engine in March and automatically redirected users to its uncensored Hong Kong search site.

However, it stopped that last month amid speculation that Beijing was about to revoke its licence. This would have harmed the company's growth prospects in China and affected computer users in the country, where Google has 30 per cent market share.

Analysts estimate that Google's revenue in China is between $300m and $600m, compared to its total annual revenue of $24bn.

Under the compromise, Google will now route Chinese web traffic to a so-called "landing page" on Google.cn, which users will then have to click on to go through to the unfiltered search in Hong Kong.

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