A Google official has announced this morning that the search giant is back in action in China. Google, the second most popular search engine in China, behind Baidu, announced in January of this year that it would no longer censor its search results on the Chinese version of its website, against the wishes of the Chinese government. As a result, Google's stock price plummeted while Baidu's stock price saw all time highs, surpassing Google on the stock market.
A couple months later, Google began redirecting users accessing the google.cn version of Google to the uncensored Hong Kong version. Unfortunately, Chinese officials didn't find that acceptable and threatened to not renew Google's Internet Content Provider (ICP) license, which grants the search giant permission to operate a commercial website in China. Google was therefore slated to go dark in China when their existing ICP license (which must be renewed annually) expired.
Google recently started providing a link to the Hong Kong site on the Google.cn landing page instead of an automatic redirect. As of this morning, Google has announced that the Chinese government has found this latest revision acceptable and has just renewed Google's ICP license. That means Google is in the clear with China ... for now. Either way, Google's pre-market stock price has soared 14 points so far. The official word has been posted on the official Google Blog by David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer of Google.