yes, that's very much a new approach
Google's David Drummond, in a post titled A new approach to China:
We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all.
The whole post's amazing. The first half describes an attack on Google's infrastructure, and while he doesn't say it explicitly, the implication here is that the Chinese government was responsible for the attack.