Google on Thursday denied it was planning to shut down its business in China by the end of the month, dispelling rumors that it had informed its Chinese advertising agents to cease their business operations in the country.
Google's spokeswoman Marsha Wang told China Daily on Thursday that the company had not ordered its domestic advertising agents to stop doing business.
"That's not possible. Our China operations are still at normal," Wang said.
Google's China team continued to develop new services, hire people and its businesses were "as usual", Wang said.
Rumors about Google's possible retreat from China were running high on Thursday ever since its CEO Eric Schmidt said at a media summit in Abu Dhabi a day earlier that he expected "something will happen soon" about its high-profile spat with China.
Schmidt had said on Wednesday that Google's dispute with China would be solved "soon" and that the search giant was still in active negotiations with Chinese officials.
China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology refused to comment on the Google issue on Thursday.
But Qin Gang, the Foreign Ministry spokesman said at a regular press briefing that "the communication channel between relevant Chinese ministries and foreign Internet operators is running well."
Qin also reiterated that foreign Internet operators should respect Chinese law while doing business in the country.
Google sent shockwaves across the business and political world when it declared on Jan 12 that it would stop censoring Chinese search results, and said it was considering pulling out of the country.
（中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑）
About the broadcaster:
Renee Haines is an editor and broadcaster at China Daily. Renee has more than 15 years of experience as a newspaper editor, radio station anchor and news director, news-wire service reporter and bureau chief, magazine writer, book editor and website consultant. She came to China from the United States.