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Google restarts China talks

New Year break over

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Search giant Google is restarting talks with the Chinese government in order to clarify the future of its businesses in China.

The search giant claimed it could no longer cooperate with Chinese censorship of search results after it was hit by a hacking attack which accessed Gmail accounts belonging to two Chinese political activists. Google said the attack in mid-December was aimed at dozens of accounts but only two were breached. The company then said it would review the feasibility of continuing business in China.

Talks are restarting after a break for Chinese Lunar New Year, the Wall Street Journal reports. Google is represented by policy executive Ross LaJeunesse, formerly an adviser to Governator Arnie Schwarzenegger.

Google refused to comment and talks are likely to last weeks at least.

The news follows reports that a piece of code used in the attacks against Google and 33 other companies has been traced to a hacker with links to the Chinese government.

What impact any of this will have is unclear - the Chinese government can continue to hack, or try to hack, into Google whether it operates a search engine on mainland China or not. ®

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