After months and months of censorship, workarounds, and harsh words between them, it’s been decided: the Chinese government will not force Google out of the country. Google announced this morning that its Internet Content Provider license has been renewed.
Google’s announcement was quite understated, with no gloating evident. Indeed, it just came in the form of a one-sentence update to the most recent China-related post on the Official Google Blog.
The update read, "We are very pleased that the government has renewed our ICP license and we look forward to continuing to provide web search and local products to our users in China."
This is undeniably big news, though. From a human rights perspective, it means Google will continue to expose itself to criticism over whatever information it denies Chinese users. And also praise for at least providing them with some information they might have had more trouble accessing before.
Then, from a business perspective, this development means Google still has a chance to profit as the world’s most populous country goes online. Which investors should appreciate. (Google’s stock is actually up 2.99 percent in trading so far this morning, while Baidu’s stock has sunk 1.97 percent.)
Expect more comments from Google executives and Chinese officials as the news spreads.