Without an ICP license, we can't operate a commercial website like Google.cn--so Google would effectively go dark in China.I'm not sure this will actually satisfy the Chinese government, or do Google much good either. It seems like taking a bit of a step backwards after insisting that it would stay out of China if China continued to require it to censor results.
That's a prospect dreaded by many of our Chinese users, who have been vocal about their desire to keep Google.cn alive. We have therefore been looking at possible alternatives, and instead of automatically redirecting all our users, we have started taking a small percentage of them to a landing page on Google.cn that links to Google.com.hk--where users can conduct web search or continue to use Google.cn services like music and text translate, which we can provide locally without filtering. This approach ensures we stay true to our commitment not to censor our results on Google.cn and gives users access to all of our services from one page.
Over the next few days we'll end the redirect entirely, taking all our Chinese users to our new landing page--and today we re-submitted our ICP license renewal application based on this approach.
The intelligence of any discussion diminishes with the square of the number of participants. -- Adam Walinsky