Google's disagreements with the Chinese authorities have been well documented, coming to a head in January of this year when the web giant threatened to pull out of the region following hacking attempts on its employees originating in the country.
The subsequent "will-it-won't-it" drama has taken several twists and turns, with the Chinese government even threatening to revoke Google's Internet Content Provider license, after it decided to redirect users to its Hong Kong site, thus bypassing Chinese censorship laws.
Now Google has never gone so far as to blame the Chinese authorities for the hacks on its systems - it is wise enough to know that this would be an unwinnable fight - although there are many who suspect state sponsorship.
Instead, it has gone on a charm offensive designed to show its support for academia with the launch of the Google Excellence Scholarship and the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship.
"Google has been collaborating with Chinese universities for a long time through a variety of programs - ranging from curriculum development, donations, to today's scholarship program - to support the education of talented students in China," wrote Kathy Deng, Google's university relations spokesperson.
"And we'll extend into other university collaboration programs in the future."
You can be sure of that. Google has spotted an easy way to further its corporate social responsibility agenda by positioning itself as a benevolent private sponsor for some of the country's premier academic institutions - something that will surely go down well in Beijing.
More to the point though, these students could provide the web giant with a nice little feeder pool of potential employees in the future.
No doubt it will be looking to draw a line under reports which suggested earlier this year that computers at one of those same institutions - Shaghai's Jiao Tong university - may have been used to conduct the attacks on its systems.
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