Published July 13, 2010
The Google.cn domain name will live on - for at least another year at this point. Late last week, China granted Google a renewal of its Internet Content Provider license and an extension of the company's .cn domain name registration - however, reports state it has come at a cost.
Google will not be permitted to automatically redirect searchers to uncensored search engine results via its Hong Kong site; a strategy Google had in place since March this year.
The web site associated with the Google.cn domain name now displays a search box which is actually an image that links to its uncensored Hong Kong site. Beneath the image are several links for China based searches for music, shopping and translation. By taking these steps, Google is now operating within China's requirements and retains some ability to tap into the nation's lucrative advertising market.Google's long-running dispute began after China's government asserted its right to censor Google's search results. Google disagreed and threatened to pull out of China altogether - but with China having more Internet users than the USA, the company made it clear it would be a last resort.
According to January estimates, there are now over 384 million Internet users in the nation. Wikipedia states the size of China's internet advertising market was RMB 3.3 billion in the third quarter of 2008.
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