China warns Google against dropping censorship
China on Friday warned US internet giant Google Inc that it must "bear the consequence" if it stops censoring search results in China, DPA reported.
"It is irresponsible and unfriendly if Google insists in doing something that goes against China's laws and regulations," Li Yizhong, the minister of industry and information technology, said when asked about Google's threat to stop censorship.
If the US-based search engine goes ahead with the plan, "it will have to bear the consequence for doing so," he said.
Last week, Li appeared to suggest that Chinese officials were in talks with Google over the company's plan to review its operations in China.
But Li's deputy, Miao Wei, later said his ministry had "never received a request from Google for any negotiations and neither have we had any direct contact with them."
On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal quoted Google chief executive Eric Schmidt as saying the company was in "active negotiations" with the Chinese government.
Schmidt declined to disclose the state of the negotiations but said the company was nearing a conclusion in the talks and that "something will happen soon," the newspaper reported.
Google announced in January that it planned to stop self-censoring its Chinese search engine even if that meant abandoning China's market.
Google said it took the unprecedented step after discovering "a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China."