Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on June 22, 2007
Google China has had a bit of a breakthrough. The company has received preliminary approval from the Chinese government for an Internet Content Provider (ICP) license. According to Google spokesperson Marsha Wang, as reported here by Reuters, “We have made very positive progress on the ICP (Internet content provider) application and have received preliminary approval.” The Reuters story points out that an ICP license would allow Google to carry news on its Chinese site.
Given the grilling that Google took last year on Capitol Hill for its censorship of Chinese web searches, the company’s execs might want to wait a while longer before they get into the business of carrying news on Google China. When the criticism of Google’s censorship was heating up in the U.S., the company was able to point out that its behavior wasn’t nearly as evil as that of rivals like Yahoo, which was complying with the Chinese government’s Internet cops not only on censorship but also in other areas such as providing the police with information about dissidents using Yahoo email accounts. If Google is going to start providing news in China, Google will also have to start censoring news in China. Not something likely to win over fans already angry about the way the company has cooperated with Beijing.