Google faces the shutdown of its entire China business with the expiry of its operating license today.
However, it is unclear whether this will satisfy the Chinese government, which operates the world’s most extensive system of internet censorship, aimed at blocking independent information on sensitive topics such as Tibet, Taiwan and the Communist Party leaders.
Duncan Clark, head of Beijing-based consultancy BDA, toldAFP “authorities have attempted now to show their power.”
Chinese media and internet analyst Rebecca McKinnon said in a blog post the government’s response “depends on how secure or insecure they're feeling these days.”
She said four scenarios were possible, ranging from the renewal of Google’s license to the rejection of the license and blocking of its Hong Kong site.
If Google’s license is terminated, it will have to close all of its web-related businesses, including advertising, mapping and search services.