Google in discussions with Chinese government

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Google in discussions with Chinese government

Eric Schmidt reported as saying he expects movement 'soon' over the dispute.

Google chief executive Eric Schmidt has said that the company is in discussions with the Chinese authorities regarding the ongoing dispute, and expects movement on the issue soon, according to new reports.

Speaking at a media conference in Abu Dhabi yesterday, Schmidt declined to give any details of exactly how long the talks would last.

"I can't really say anything other than that we're in active negotiations with the Chinese government, and there is no specific timetable. Something will happen soon," he said, according to an Associated Press (AP) report.

However, there is still some confusion over whether the talks are actually taking place. Miao Wei, China's vice minister of industry and IT, was quoted on Saturday as saying that there had been no negotiations with Google, according to AP.

Google shocked the world when it announced in January that it was reconsidering its operations in China after discovering a large co-ordinated hacking attack against itself and at least 30 other companies.

The incident has since escalated into an international diplomatic dispute. US secretary of state Hillary Clinton criticised China's policy of internet censorship, and called on the government to provide a full explanation of the attacks.

However, Schmidt sought to play down the involvement of Washington. "The Google action was not in any way advanced or co-ordinated with the US government except post facto," he is reported as saying.

"Google's discussions are with the Chinese government, and they do not involve the US government. The US government is doing its thing unrelated to Google."

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