After a long course of turmoil, the Chinese government has finally renewed the ICP (Internet Content Provider) license of Google, resulting in a temporary halt of the raging war between the web mogul & the nation.
Ever since Google's foundation of Google China in 2005, they were facing problems regarding China's complicated and rigid Internet censorship laws. In 2006, Google introduced their China-based google.cn search page with results subjected to the censorship, not displaying any results which included the 'offended keywords', as maintained by the Chinese government.
In Mar 2009, China restricted access to Google's Youtube site, along with other online Google services, which started the tension between them. Finally in Jan 2010, Google announced they were no longer willing to censor results on google.cn. Eventually, China decided not to renew Google’s ICP license unless they complied with the national censorship laws, and on March 30, nearly all applications of Google, including Google Mobile, were also banned from Mainland China although some services such as Google Mail and Google Earth remained unaffected.
In June 2010, Google tried one last chance to end the rift by appeasing the Chinese govt. There were also ongoing vocal protests of Chinese users, which forced the government to allow Google to present a vanilla google.cn homepage, a page that redirects the search engine to Google Hong Kong (google.com.hk), giving all unfiltered services to the Chinese users.
Finally, on July 9, 2010 Google announced on its official blog that the Chinese government has lifted the ban upon them, giving them the ICP license. That would end the automatic redirect of Google China to Google Hong Kong. Although the search results will not be censored by Google anymore, but China will actively (intercept and) censor and then provide the search results to the users.
So, for now, Chinese people have an option... What can we say? Happy Googling, China!