Google CEO Eric Schmidt has predicted an early end to talks with the Chinese government over the search firm’s operations in China.
“We are in active negotiations with the Chinese government,” he said at a media summit in Abu Dhabi, WSJ reported.
While he would not be drawn on the progress of the talks, he said “something will happen soon.”
Schmidt’s comments come several days after a vice-minister with China’s Ministry of Industry and IT (MIIT), Miao Wei, said that the ministry had had no contact with Google.
The search giant announced two months ago it would stop self-censoring its Chinese search engine and planned to exit the market following a major cyber-attack that it said had originated in China. Dozens of other MNCs were hit in the same attack, IT security firms have said.
While the talks are underway, Google is continuing to offer filtered search results through its google.cn search engine.
The US Trade Representative is considering making a complaint to the World Trade Organisation, on the grounds that censorship is an unfair trade barrier.
Google’s role in China has become one of a number of contentious issues in the US-China relationship, along with the Dalai Lama’s visit to Washington and the announcement of a fresh arms sale to Taiwan.