Chinese Government Renews Google's Internet Content Provider License

The Chinese government has renewed Google’s license to provide Internet services in the country.

The Internet Content Provider (ICP) license, under Chinese law, is required by every company providing Internet services in the country. China bans US-based firms like Facebook and Twitter, as a part of its larger strategy to control what the Chinese can or cannot see.

Google has had a turbulent relationship with China, with the company speaking out against the Chinese content censorship laws.

“We can confirm that the government has renewed our ICP license,” Google said in an email statement.

The license, which allows the search engine giant to operate the Google.cn website, needs to be renewed each year.

Interestingly, the Chinese Google.cn does not operate as a regular search engine but redirects users to Google’s Hong Kong website where it is free from China’s censorship rules. This move came after Google denounced China’s censorship laws and threatened to close its operations in the country, which is also the world’s largest Internet market.

Google, otherwise the largest search engine in the world, is struggling to compete with China’s homegrown Baidu, which has now partnered with Google rival Microsoft to get its English languages searches powered by Bing.