Google Could Get Content License In China

    June 19, 2007

It’s not a sure thing – “preliminary regulatory approval” is all that Google’s gotten so far – but it appears the Mountain View-based corporation is on its way to receiving an Internet content license in China.

This would help Google compete with its chief competitor in the region, Baidu.  “Licensing concerns in China have hampered Google’s efforts to advertise its services and introduce Web applications, such as its popular Gmail service, hindering the Mountain View, Calif.-based company’s efforts to become the local market leader,” notes Terence Poon.

Poon then quotes Duncan Clark, chairman of BDA China Ltd., in an article for the Wall Street Journal.  Clark had another encouraging piece of news (from Google’s point of view) as far as the Baidu rivalry is concerned: granting a license to Google could mean that “the Chinese government doesn’t want one dominant search engine – even if it’s Baidu.”

Such a change would be a big one, as it’s been, at least in part, the Chinese government’s censorship that has kept Google down.  Another factor has been the public’s desire to use a genuinely Chinese search engine, but if China’s government can get over this bias, then the people may follow suit.

There’s no word as to when the “preliminary regulatory approval” might become permanent, but if the search engine giant succeeds in getting an Internet content license, expect to see a lot more news relating to Google China.