Google Crawling from China?

Most people involved in organic search in one way or another will know that Google's crawling infrastructure is located in the US. I came across a somewhat odd counter-example today. One tool on this site shows a user's IP address. I sometimes use this as a quick check of a Googlebot IP - since I can see the IP crawled from in the text snippet. Checking this out today, I came across an unusual IP in the snippet, which geo-locates to China:

Chinese IP in Google cache

My initial thought was that perhaps Google have some infrastructure in China for crawling now. So, whose IP is this? Apparently, it belongs to a company called China Mobile, seemingly a mobile internet operator. Stranger still, the site StopForumSpam, a way ofcollecting IP and other information on web spammers has extensive listings for the IP concerned, seemingly for comment spam.

Here's the full IP ownership info from APNIC:

% []
% Whois data copyright terms

% Information related to ' -'

inetnum: -
netname:        CMNET
descr:          China Mobile Communications Corporation
descr:          Mobile Communications Network Operator in China
descr:          Internet Service Provider in China
country:        CN
admin-c:        lcj-AP
tech-c:         HL1318-AP
remarks:        service provider
status:         ALLOCATED PORTABLE
mnt-by:         APNIC-HM
mnt-lower:      MAINT-CN-CMCC
mnt-routes:     MAINT-CN-CMCC
remarks:        -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-++-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
remarks:        This object can only be updated by APNIC hostmasters.
remarks:        To update this object, please contact APNIC
remarks:        hostmasters and include your organisation's account
remarks:        name in the subject line.
remarks:        -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-++-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
changed: 20081215
source:         APNIC

So, how on earth has this IP ended up as part of a Google crawl?


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