(Refiling to add dropped verb in 2nd paragraph)
WASHINGTON, March 22 The U.S. State Department
said it was aware of "strong indications" that Internet giant
Google Inc (GOOG.O) will make an announcement on Monday about
its future in China.
"We're aware that there are strong indications of an
announcement by Google this afternoon, and as we have said
throughout this process this is a decision for Google to make,"
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said.
"I'm not going to comment on whether we know what Google is
going to say. Let's wait for the announcement and talk
afterwards," Crowley told a news briefing.
Google informed the State Department several days in
advance of its January public announcement that it might be
forced to pull out of the China market due to hacking and
A senior U.S. official said the State Department had been
given a similar "heads up" in this instance, but declined to
provide further information.
Speculation has been swirling that Google is preparing to
announce a decision to pull out of China -- the world's largest
Internet market by users -- or at least shut down its Chinese
(Reporting by Andrew Quinn; Editing by Sandra Maler)