Censorship of Google (GOOG.NASDAQ) searches in China could stop within weeks, but the company is unlikely to leave the country entirely, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. “There will be a way for Google to not pull out 100%,” one source said, noting that the company could reach agreements with different Chinese agencies on an individual basis, allowing it to continue operating certain parts of its business. In January, Google threatened to shut down its Chinese-language search site and exit China, citing problems with censorship and hacking. However, Google CEO Eric Schmidt told a media summit Wednesday that “something will happen soon” regarding negotiations with the Chinese authorities. The company also moved to dispel rumors that it was planning to close its China business by the end of the month and had told its local advertising agents to cease operations in the country. In addition to google.cn, the company has sales, research and other operations in China, as well as investments in some local firms.
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