Google and Chinese officials will resume talks about whether the US firm can deliver unfiltered Internet search results in the world's most populous country, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
It was unclear whether any progress was being made in the talks, or whether Google would be forced to follow through on its January threat to shut down its Chinese-language search engine google.cn rather than bow to government censors.
[edited by: engine at 6:58 pm (utc) on Feb 23, 2010]
Google's threatened departure hasn't fazed most Chinese net users from the reports I've read. Google doesn't have the pull in China that it does in other countries. This will be an interesting one to watch.
China said Saturday it had not received any request for talks from Google, as the Internet giant insists it remains firm in its plan to end censorship on search results in the communist state.
In January Google threatened to leave China over what it said were cyber attacks aimed at its source code and at the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists around the world.
But Vice Minister Miao Wei told state run news agency Xinhua that China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology had not received any word from Google on the matter.
The company had "never informed the ministry that it was planning to withdraw from China," he said, speaking on the sidelines of China's annual session of the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature.
Google Inc.'s chief executive said Wednesday he expects the company will soon reach a conclusion to negotiations with the Chinese government regarding the fate of its China business.
"We are in active negotiations with the Chinese government," Eric Schmidt told reporters at a media summit in Abu Dhabi. Google has decided not to publicize the status of the negotiations, he said, but "something will happen soon."
Google said two months ago it would stop self-censoring its Chinese search engine and may shutter its offices in China following a major cyber-attack the company said it traced back to the country. The U.S. search giant has offered few details on the progress of talks between it and Chinese officials.