China isn’t expected to actually scuttle the deal. In a statement to Bloomberg, a Google spokesperson indicated their continued cooperation with the AMB, and their expectation that the deal will still close in the first half of 2012. While Chinese officials declined to comment on the approval process, political analysts had indicated that China is unlikely to rock the boat significantly this year, as they are in a transition period as the ruling Communist Party introduces new leaders into congress.
Edward Yu, CEO of Beijing-based Analysys International, explained the mood in China this way, “This year is quite sensitive, with a new lineup of leaders in the central government, I don't think there will be anything extreme, warm or cold, or retaliation.”
As we reported in February, the Chines AMB may have ulterior reasons to drag the process out; China would like for Google to move some of their search business back to mainland China from Hong Kong, an action Google deemed necessary after repeated legal disagreements with the government and a series of hacking attempts on their mainland officers.
source: Bloomberg via The Verge