* China in consultations with Google over dispute
* Google spokesman unavailable for comment
By Shao Xiaoyi and Doug Young
BEIJING, March 5 China is in consultations with
technology giant Google (GOOG.O) to resolve its dispute with the
company, which has threatened to abandon the Chinese market over
hacking and censorship concerns, said a Chinese official on
The comment came from Li Yizhong, minister of China's
Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), speaking
on the sidelines of China's annual parliament.
A Google spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
Google sent shockwaves across business and political circles
when it declared on Jan. 12 it would stop censoring Chinese
search results, and said it was considering pulling out of the
Google said in January that it had detected a cyber attack
originating from China on its corporate infrastructure that
resulted in the theft of its intellectual property. Google said
more than 20 other companies had been infiltrated
[ID:nN12133127], and cited the attack, as well as Chinese Web
censorship practices, as reasons for the company to consider
pulling out of the country.
The dispute about Internet censorship has added to tensions
about issues ranging from trade and the Chinese currency, to a
meeting last week between U.S. President Barack Obama and exiled
Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama.
The hacking issue made headlines again in late February after
reports in the Western media that the attacks had been traced to
two schools in China, and the writer of the spyware used had been
identified as a Chinese security consultant in his 30s with
The Chinese government has said that Google's claim that it
was attacked by hackers based in China was "groundless."
(Writing by Don Durfee; Editing Jacqueline Wong)