Google’s days in China may soon be numbered: The Chinese government has ordered it to stop redirecting mainland users to its Hong Kong website—a maneuver Google had hoped would allow it to provide uncensored search results without jeopardizing its standing in China. “It’s clear from conversations we have had with Chinese government officials that they find the redirect unacceptable–and that if we continue redirecting users, our Internet Content Provider license will not be renewed (it’s up for renewal on June 30),” Chief Legal Officer David Drummond wrote in a blog post. Google is required to apply for an ICP by Wednesday, but it’s unclear when China will respond. In a final attempt to appease the Chinese government without caving entirely to its censorship demands, Google.cn will offer an optional link to the Hong Kong website, rather than automatically redirecting there.
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