Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Google denies China licensing claims

PC Pro: News: Google denies China licensing claims: "Google has denied claims by a Chinese newspaper that it does not have the necessary licence to operate inside the country.

The Beijing News said the does not have the ICP licence that is a prerequisite for running an Internet service in China. The claim was repeated by the China Business Times.

'Under China's policy framework for the Internet, is clearly unlawful,' it said (via Reuters)

Google insisted that the reports are inaccurate. It said that like most other international companies including Yahoo! and eBay it had secured its licence through a partnership with a Chinese firm.

'Google has the required licence to operate the service in China,' it said in an email statement.

Chinese authorities said that they were aware of the claims but declined to comment prior to the release of an statement later this week.

Under Chinese laws, foreign Internet companies cannot operate directly but must do so through a local company, which then pays the foreign firm for 'technical support'.

Google has been widely and heavily criticised for acceding to Chinese censorship demands in return for permission to operate in the world's most populous country.

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