Google has restarted its Chinese website, ending the policy of redirecting Chinese users to its uncensored Hong Kong domain.
The decision has been made following talks with Chinese Government officials, who apparently find the current state unacceptable and are threatening to revoke Google’s Internet Content Provider License if they continue to flout Chinas censorship laws by redirecting traffic through Hong Kong.
Instead Google has chosen to reinitiate the Google.cn domain, but offering a vastly stripped down version of the Google service. Chinese users will only be able to access music download and text translation – services that can be offered without filtering results.
“As a company we aspire to make information available to users everywhere, including China,” wrote Google’s senior vice president for corporate development and chief legal officer, David Drummond in the Google Blog.
“It’s why we have worked so hard to keep Google.cn alive, as well as to continue our research and development work in China. This new approach is consistent with our commitment not to self censor and, we believe, with local law. We are therefore hopeful that our license will be renewed on this basis so we can continue to offer our Chinese users services via Google.cn.”