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Monday, July 5, 2010

Google Forced into New China Strategy

Posted by @ 7:37 pm

The last time we heard any news on the Google situation in China, the report was that the situation was stable and that Google would continue to re-direct users to the Hong Kong search engine. However, this strategy seems to have hit a snag.

Google’s Internet Content Licence in China has expired and without it Google cannot operate in China. The problem is that the Chinese Government will not allow them to renew their ICP licence if they continue to redirect searchers to the search engine instead of

With China being one of the largest countries of internet users, Google needed to come up with another plan and quickly.

On the Official Google Blog, SVP Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond announced the new strategy:

We currently automatically redirect everyone using to, our Hong Kong search engine. This redirect, which offers unfiltered search in simplified Chinese, has been working well for our users and for Google. However, 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). Without an ICP license, we can’t operate a commercial website like—so Google would effectively go dark in China.

That’s a prospect dreaded by many of our Chinese users, who have been vocal about their desire to keep alive. We have therefore been looking at possible alternatives, and instead of automatically redirecting all our users, we have started taking a small percentage of them to a landing page on that links to—where users can conduct web search or continue to use services like music and text translate, which we can provide locally without filtering. This approach ensures we stay true to our commitment not to censor our results on and gives users access to all of our services from one page.


Here’s hoping the Chinese Government see this as a suitable solution. What do you think of Google’s new approach to China? Feel free to share your thoughts below.

Courtney Mills Courtney is an online marketing and communications specialist at ineedhits - a leading search engine marketing firm with over 16 years experience. Courtney has been living and breathing online marketing for over 5 years. She specializes in web and communication marketing, while providing news and opinion to online marketing communities.

View Courtney Mills's profile

Discussion (2 - comments)

The best think for Google is to pack their back and go home. China don’t need American Internet company. So far no American Internet company can survive in China i.e. Yahoo, ebay, goddaddy etc. Google just using the hacking and human right issue to save their face.
After 5 years or so with only 20% market share in China that said it all.

By Antig - July 7, 2010

[...] Courtney reported last week, Google originally stopped censoring Chinese search results by redirecting users to [...]

By Google Allowed to Continue Operations in China | ineedhits - July 12, 2010

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