Note the redirect isn’t gone, though – it will still occur for direct search queries, like google.cn/search?q=foo. Some other Google.cn services like Google Music China (listen to lots of songs for free) are also continuing to work well, using the old domain. Also note that in China, google.com, just as before, can be accessed rather normally. However, Google in a blog post writes:
[I]t’s clear from conversations we have had with Chinese government officials that they find the redirect unacceptable – and that if we continue redirecting users our Internet Content Provider license will not be renewed (it’s up for renewal on June 30). Without an ICP license, we can’t operate a commercial website like Google.cn – so Google would effectively go dark in China. (...)
Over the next few days we’ll end the redirect entirely, taking all our Chinese users to our new landing page – and today we re-submitted our ICP license renewal application based on this approach.
We’ll see what happens to direct search redirects, then. It’s interesting also because some tools have the google.cn search queries hard-coded, for instance, the Chinese-manufactured (wifi-free) Apple iPhones you can buy here (search in its Safari Google box, and you’ll see google.cn, then google.com.hk).
*Not all users on all devices may see this.
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