Google, the world's most popular search engine, denied over the weekend reports that it has decided to shut its google.cn site and close its China office.
Dismissing reports of a pullout, a Google spokeswoman told Bloomberg Saturday that it is operating business as usual in China, is still censoring search results on google.cn and its employees in China are still going to work.
It said it would hold talks with the Chinese government over the next few weeks, Reuters reported.
Google's chief legal officer threatened last week on the corporate blog to withdraw from the Chinese market after suffering a sophisticated cyber-attack on its network that resulted in theft of its intellectual property.
The unexpected statement captured the attention of China's 384 million netizens, the world's largest Internet market by users, with blogs and local media quoting unnamed insiders' "testimonies."
On Thursday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry responded that China encourages the development of the Internet and endeavors to create a sound environment for its healthy development and China welcomes international Internet corporations to do business in China in line with the law.
On Friday, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said that the ministry had received no indication from Google that the company would leave China.
Upon the no-pullout confirmation, Jiang Pingzhong, a veteran industry professional, said on the it168.com website that the "pullout" is a big hype by Google as a respectable operator, citing Google's logo Friday that paralleled "oG" (deemed as a metaphor for Google) with China's four world-known inventions.
An opinion poll at huanqiu.com Sunday showed that about 26 percent of respondents welcomed Google's decision to stay in China, while around 46 percent now have an adverse judgment of Google after the incident. The remainder said they do not care.