I mentioned last month that the Chinese government had a choice about whether to intensify its confrontation with Google -- by refusing to accept Google's latest gesture on search-censorship as "compliance" with Chinese law and deciding not to renew its license for Internet activities in China -- or instead to limit the damage to its international reputation, and to the interests of its own high-end users, by de-escalating and renewing Google's license. If it decided to play extra-tough, Google would then face a choice of its own, about whether it could stay in China at all (where it has research centers and many activities other than pure internet search).
Just now it appears that the Chinese government has stepped back from the brink. From the official Google site:
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.