So does Google have the required government license to operate in China? Yes and no.
They don’t have their own license, but are using that of one of their partners.
“Google has a partnership with Ganji.com through which Google has the required license to operate Google.cn,” said Google spokeswoman Debbie Frost in a written response to questions about the report.
Is this legal? Not even a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Information Industry seems to know. eBay has the same situation, so Google should be ok.