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China renew Google Internet licence.

I don't know what China wants to prove with renewal of Google's licence to operate in China, the internet giant has said.

Google gave no details of the licence renewal.

There had been speculation China would revoke the licence after Google began redirecting Chinese users to its unfiltered search site in Hong Kong.

But last month, Google said it would no longer automatically redirect users in a conciliatory move towards Beijing.

Instead, Chinese users would be sent to a "landing page", which would send them to the Hong Kong site.

"We are very pleased that the government has renewed our ICP (internet content provider) licence and we look forward to continuing to provide web search and local products to our users in China," Google's lawyer David Drummond said an e-mailed statement.

On Thursday, Google boss Eric Schmidt said that he expected the Chinese government to renew the lic

The licence renewal is key to Google. Losing business in China, which already has more internet users than any other country despite relatively low penetration, could harm the company's future growth prospects.

-BBC Inputs

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