Google Inc will end the automatic redirection of users from its China to its Hong Kong website within the next 24 to 48 hours, a Google spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
Google said late on Monday it would end the automatic rerouting of users to its Hong Kong search site, which gives unfiltered search results, after Beijing said it would not renew the firm's China operating license if it continued.
Every China-based website needs to apply for an Internet Content Provider license from China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology that needs to be renewed on a yearly basis. Google's license ends in 2012 but comes up for renewal on Wednesday.
Without the license, Google would not be able to run a search website in China. Some users visiting Google.cn now get a webpage with the Google logo and search box, but clicking anywhere on the page bring them to the Hong Kong search site.
China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology could not be reached for comment.
(Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)