A while back, Google made the bold decision to stop censoring search results in China. As a consequence of this action, the company is now a little bit nervous about its future in the country:
We currently automatically redirect everyone using Google.cn to Google.com.hk, our Hong Kong search engine. This redirect, which offers unfiltered search in simplified Chinese, has been working well for our users and for Google. However, it'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 licence will not be renewed (it's up for renewal on June 30). Without an ICP licence, we can't operate a commercial website like Google.cn-so Google would effectively go dark in China.
In order to satisfy the Chinese government, Google will shut down this redirect and send users to a "landing page on Google.cn that links to Google.com.hk-where users can conduct web search or continue to use Google.cn services like music and text translate, which we can provide locally without filtering."
It's a compromise, but at least Google is managing to stay in business in the country and continue providing some uncensored search results to the residents. [Google]