10 Jul 2010

China renews Google operating licence

9:43 am on 10 July 2010

Google says China has renewed its operating licence, ending a bitter row between the two.

The internet company had angered the Chinese leadership earlier this year by threatening to pull out over hacking and censorship.

Google gave no details of the licence renewal.

In January, Google said it might pull out of the country following a cyber attack originating from China that targetted e-mail accounts of Chinese human rights activists and the computers and infrastructure of Google and several other US firms.

Google began redirecting Chinese users to its unfiltered search site in Hong Kong, but in a conciliatory gesture the internet company last month said it would no longer automatically redirect users.

Instead, Chinese users would be sent to a "landing page", which would send them to the Hong Kong site.

The BBC says that Google can now truthfully say it has stopped censoring search results in China. But the government has made sure that its citizens can't receive unfiltered results because searches have to pass back from Hong Kong through a firewall, where sensitive material can be removed.