The world's leading search engine Google Inc. on Wednesday announced that its new China-based website google.cn has been licensed for operation.
The license was acquired through a deal with the Chinese website Ganji.com. Reports on Tuesday revealed that Google had not obtained the Internet Content Provider (ICP) licence needed to operate google.cn in China.
Google.cn was launched by Google during this year's Chinese Spring Festival period.
The President of Google's China company Kai-fu Lee told the press that using another company's ICP license is a common practice taken by many international companies shortly after entering China.
Lee said Google has had close contact with the Chinese government since entering China. As a law-abiding company, Google is willing to receive guidance from the Chinese government, he said.
Zhu Youping, Chief Editor of the China Economic Information Network, said all websites run for commercial purposes should have a registered ICP number if their Internet server is in China. But according to present regulations in the country, foreign companies could only get the license through cooperating with their Chinese partners.
The Chinese Ministry of Information Industry, the regulator of the IT industry, was very cautious on the issue. The ministry spokesman Wang Lijian said it had finished investigating the licensing case, and its findings will soon be publicized. He said the ministry is taking a circumspect attitude in dealing with the case.
According to Wang, the Beijing Communications Administration was still investigating the problem and its results will soon be published.