Last week Google’s Chinese Internet Content Provider licence came up for renewal, but according to a Google spokesperson, the Chinese government hasn’t got back to them yet. Now though, a Chinese site is reporting on some new features being added.
MIC Gadget, who helped us out hugely with the ongoing Foxconn suicides saga, has heard from a Chinese source saying that they've been given a new ICP licence with the number of "B2-20070004". Not only that, but new features Google Music, Translation and Shopping have been added to the homepage.
These changes are visible on the Google.cn page (which you can see here), which automatically redirects you to their Hong Kong arm when you click or enter a search query. However, clicking on Music, for example, brings up a page which tells me that "Music streaming/download services are not available in your region". A similar URL for Google.com brings up the search music function, which really only acts as a gateway for searching for bands and musicians, so it's not looking like it's the same function for Chinese users.
Puzzlingly, if Google was getting into music as the Google Music rumours have suggested, would they launch the service in China first? Perhaps it's referring to something else. In the meantime, this is all unconfirmed, however websites are reporting that the PR Director at Google China has said their licence doesn't expire until 2012 and confirmed the new features have been added. [Sootoo via MIC Gadget]