Thursday, July 1, 2010

Google search blocked in China

BEIJING - A GOOGLE search feature remained blocked in China on Thursday as the deadline for renewal of the US web giant's operating licence passed with no word from Beijing, amid a fractious row over censorship.

Google said it had yet to receive a response from the government in China - the world's largest Internet market - on its application to renew its Internet Content Provider licence, which expired on Wednesday.

'We are waiting to hear from the government,' Jessica Powell, Google's Tokyo-based spokeswoman, told AFP.

The Xinhua news agency quoted an unnamed official in charge of Internet administration as saying the licence renewal application had been submitted late and government agencies were 'using the time to go through procedures'. 'A quick reply is expected soon,' the official said.

The firm that administers pledged in the application letter to 'abide by the Chinese law' and 'provide no law-breaking contents,' the official added, according to Xinhua.

Calls to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the main regulator of China's Internet industry, went unanswered for a second straight day. -- AFP

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