Google expects its Android mobile operating system to "flourish" in China, Google's chief financial officer said Monday amid a two-month standoff with Beijing over Web censorship and cyberattacks.
Asked during a Google "educational webcast" about the future of Android in China in light of the conflict over Google's search engine, Google CFO Patrick Pichette said "the Android platform is available to everybody.
"All the carriers, all the handset providers can actually use the Android platform," Pichette said. "It's an open source platform.
"China is obviously another great market in which Android should flourish so we look forward to that," he said.
Google threatened in January to stop censoring its Chinese-language search engine and perhaps leave China altogether over what it said were cyberattacks aimed at its source code and the Gmail accounts of Chinese rights activists.
China's Minister of Industry and Information Technology Li Yizhong on Friday warned Google it would face "consequences" if it stopped filtering its search results on Google.cn.
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Google appears increasingly likely to close down its Chinese-language search engine and may "take action within weeks."
It said Google and the Chinese authorities have been discussing the extent to which the Internet giant will be able to operate in China if it follows through on its pledge and stops censoring Web search results.
"Hopes are fading that Google will be able to reach an agreement with China to remain in business there," the newspaper said.
A Google spokesman declined on Monday to comment to AFP on the status of negotiations between the California company and the Chinese authorities.
(c) 2010 AFP