Google denied ICP license in China

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Beijing, July1 (ANI): Google has failed to find a place in the initial list of companies that the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping (SBSM) plans to approve to provide online mapping services in the country.

According to the China Daily, analysts have said that Google's failure to make the list may bring uncertainties for the US-based Internet search giant's Chinese operations, as its domestic website license expired on June 30.

On Tuesday, Google stopped automatically redirecting Chinese users to its Hong Kong site after the government called the approach "unacceptable" and refused to renew the Internet Content Provider (ICP) license of its domestic site Google.cn.

Twenty-three domestic companies including Baidu, Alibaba and Sohu are among those expected to be granted a license to provide the services.

"Google will hardly be able to get a license (for mapping services). Nor does it have a good chance of getting its ICP (Internet Content Provider) license renewed," the paper quoted Hu Yanping, head of the Data Center of China Internet, a domestic research firm, as saying.

The ICP license is a permit issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) to allow websites to operate in China, and authorities have the right to shut down any website that fails to get one or have it renewed, the paper reported.

The search engine's joint venture on the Chinese mainland was 'very late' in its application to renew its website license, while other foreign companies such as Microsoft and Nokia which reportedly applied for licenses were also not included in the latest list," the paper reported.

SBSM started posting the list on June 13 and said it plans to grant licenses to listed companies soon.

Google's market share in China fell to 30.9 percent in the first quarter from 35.6 percent three months earlier, Edward Yu, president of domestic research firm Analysys International said.

As of now, it is unclear whether the government will allow Google to continue its business operations, as the MIIT has not commented so far. (ANI)

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