The Google problem is officially over! While Google itself announced being able to obtain a new ICP license for China two weeks ago, last night, the authorities finally issued a statement of their own confirming the fact.
Said the head of the Minsitry of Industry and Information’s communication development division, Zhang Feng, “After examination, we have concluded that it has basically met the requirements according to the relevant laws and regulations.”
He added that Guxiang, a company that operates Google’s websites in China, had committed to “abide by Chinese law.” Under those terms, government regulators have the right to supervise content provided by the firm. Zhang did not elaborate on how that related to the company’s redirect to an uncensored (though still GFWed) Hong Kong page, only saying “This is an operational act made by the company itself.”
Back when the Google ICP issues were raised and Google made known its loophole measures, many people questioned who exactly would be winning in this situation. Sure, Google’s managed to technically stay in China, but under so many restrictions it’s almost like the whole Google Leaving China shebang never really happened.
I think Mashable sums it up best:
We congratulate Google on their initial bold statement on censorship and the decision to stop censoring search results in China. Dozens of little tweaks later, however, and the final compromise reached between Google and China hardly feels like a revolution.