China said Wednesday it had renewed Google's licence to operate in the world's largest online market, after the US company last year moved its Chinese search engine overseas in protest over censorship.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology named Google's China website operator, Beijing Guxiang Information Technology Co. Ltd., as one of 137 firms whose licences were renewed following adjustments in their operations.
The ministry had ordered the adjustments after some firms had changed shareholding structures without official permission, provided services beyond their approved business range or had lax information security controls.
The ministry, which posted the license renewals on its website, did not specify the kind of changes individual companies had to make.
Google spokeswoman for China Marsha Wang confirmed to AFP that the company had been granted the licence renewal.
"We have passed the 2011 annual assessment (of the licence)," she said.
This means Google's Internet content provider licence in China has been extended for one more year, she said.
Google said in March last year it would no longer bow to government censors and effectively shut down its Chinese search engine, re-routing mainland users to its uncensored site in Hong Kong.
Google has maintained that such an approach complied with Chinese law.
(c) 2011 AFP