China might stuff up Google's Motorola bid

Google’s tame government chum, China is about to stick a large chopstick into the spokes of its deal to buy Motorola.

While Google has been plotting what it will do with the trillions of patents it will suddenly own as a result of the deal, it seems that someone has forgotten about the legality of the deal in foreign parts.

The men from China’s Commerce Ministry have now coughed politely and said they have not received an application for regulatory approval from Google on its planned $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility Holdings.

While you would think that such a deal is none of China’s business, according to Reuters, Chinese laws, enterprises that run businesses in China and that earn annual revenues of 10 billion yuan ($1.55 billion) globally and 400 million yuan in China must seek government approval for a proposed acquisition.

If China is not satisfied with the deal then Google could find itself unable to flog Motorola gear behind the bamboo curtain.

It would be wrong to assume that China would automatically block it, just because it thinks that Google is the Great Satan seeking to protect dissidents and other assorted riff-raff. However we can’t see China doing Google a favour without seeing something in it for them.

It does place Google in the difficult position of having to appease its public enema number one if it ever wants to work in China again.

Appeasing is not something that Google does particularly well, or with good grace particularly where the Chinese are involved.

Still, it looks like this this deal will mean interesting times for Google and interesting times are what the Chinese see as a curse.