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Google Faces Pressure As China to Decide on License

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Google search page, Shanghai

Reuters / Stringer

Google Inc. could face further pressure for its other products in China as Beijing is due to decide whether or not to renew a license for the firm's flagship search engine in the world's largest Internet market.

In an effort to keep its China license, Google said on Wednesday it will stop automatically redirecting China users to its uncensored Hong Kong site within the next 48 hours.

Beijing has been silent on whether a compromise system will be enough to allow Google to stay in the lucrative market -- the world's largest with nearly 400 million users, where local powerhouse Baidu Inc is the top dog.

"If they lose this license, the trend is moving in the wrong direction for Google, it seems likely they will have trouble with their other licenses in China as well," said T.R. Harrington, chief executive of search consulting firm Darwin Marketing.

From Reuters
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