China: We're still reviewing Google's license renewal application

Government officials in China said today that they are still reviewing Google's application for its content license renewal, extending the uncertainty around Google's fate in that country

Chinese officials said today that they are still reviewing Google's application to renew its content license, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The company's application for a content license, which is good through 2012 but requires an annual renewal, was re-submitted at the end of June, altered to try to appease officials who are unhappy with Google China being redirected to the uncensored Google Hong Kong site.

Google and China have been at odds with each other since the company announced back in January that it had been the victim of a hacking attack that originated in China. At the time, Google vowed to stop censoring search results, even if that meant shuttering operations in China.

Then in March, Google announced the redirect to Google Hong Kong, but said that it was leaving sales and R&D operations in mainland China.

Even though the company is playing hardball with the Chinese government, it still recognizes the significance of having a presence there. As part of the changes in the resubmitted application, Google is no longer automatically redirecting people to the Hong Kong site. Instead, users to the Google.cn site receive a message that informs them of the move and allows them to click on an image to get to that site, according to the WSJ report.