China says it has not had any direct contact with the U.S. Internet company Google about ending its China-based search service because of government censorship.
Chinese Vice Minister Miao Wei told the state-run Xinhua news agency that China's ministry of industry and information technology has had no contact with Google on the matter.
Miao says Google never informed the ministry that it was planning to withdraw from China. The minister spoke on the sidelines of the National People's Congress in Beijing Saturday.
Google has said it was holding talks with Chinese officials about how it could continue operating in the country without censoring its content.
Google had earlier said it would no longer respect Beijing's censorship rules after discovering what it said were China-based cyber attacks on its e-mail accounts. The Chinese government has denied any involvement.
China carefully censors the Web to filter out sexually explicit or violent content, as well as information it considers to be a challenge to the ruling Communist Party.
Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.