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Report: Google-China decision on Monday

By Kevin Voigt, CNN
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Google leaving China?
  • Report: Google to announce it's plans to leave China on Monday
  • Company won't confirm the Shanghai paper report
  • Report claims the company plans to shutter operations by April 11

Hong Kong, China (CNN) -- Google will make an announcement on its plans to leave China on Monday, according to a Friday report in China Business News.

The Shanghai-based publication reported that Google is expected to announce on Monday it would shutter its China operations on April 10, quoting an unnamed Google employee and a Chinese sales agent for the company.

A spokesperson for Google in China wouldn't comment on the report.

The news comes as speculation continues to rise in China over whether the Internet giant will pull out of the market and what the ramifications would be for the world's largest online market.

Google has threatened to leave China and briefly quit censoring its Web site there in January. Chinese law requires Internet operators to censor information for sexual or political content.

Should Google leave China now?

Company CEO Eric Schmidt said last week the company plans to make its announcement "soon." Internet companies operating in China face a March 31 deadline to renew licenses to operate in the country, according to the Beijing Communications Administration.

Video: Life without Google in China
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  • Google Inc.

Meanwhile, a Chinese government Web site has removed a letter purported to be sent from 27 of Google's partner firms in China as suspicions grow whether all the companies listed authored the letter.

China partners to Google: Decide now

The letter -- supposedly signed by 27 Chinese advertising partners and addressed to John Liu, Google's top executive in China -- said they are "worried and anxious" since Google's January 13 announcement it may leave China. The partners said they were having trouble retaining staff and were worried about legal fallout from clients if Google shutters its China operations.

The letter received wide coverage after it was posted earlier this week on a Web site for CCTV, a state-run media site.

However, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday that 22 of the 27 companies who supposedly signed the letter had no knowledge of it. On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal had reported one anonymous source from a company on the list confirming the substance of the letter.

Google has confirmed it has received the letter but wouldn't comment on its authenticity.