In a widely misinterpreted move, Google added an ICP license registration notice at the bottom of the search page in China. Many early followers of the Google China saga interpreted this to mean that Google’s application for a new ICP license had been approved by the Beijing authorities, but later Google confirmed that they had not received new information from the Chinese regulatory authorities, which in Google China’s case is the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
In a late-day move, Google’s PR department has denied that there has been any update from the Chinese authorities. That raises the question: “If there was no update on status from the Chinese authorities, then why did Google China add the ICP license, even though it did not have it before? And why did they do it without winning renewal from the Chinese authorities? Did they consult with the Chinese authorities before added the ICP license to the page?”
The Google China story is rapidly escalating into one of the great mysteries of the universe right up there with the age of the universe, what are the rules of physics if there were no space and no time, what caused the dinosaurs to become extinct, spontaneous human combustion, who was Jack the Ripper, and can the hole in the Gulf of Mexico be plugged?