China sought to head off concerns about curbs on Google phone technology on Wednesday, as US business groups urged Washington to tackle "alarming" measures against foreign high-tech companies in China.
Google's threat to quit China this month over hacking and US criticism of China's Internet censorship has irritated ties between the two economic giants, already hurt by disagreements over currency exchange, trade and U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.
In soothing words for investors, a Chinese official said Beijing would not seek to stand in the way of Google's Android mobile phone platform in the Chinese market.
The spokesman for China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Zhu Hongren, was responding to a question about whether use of the Android application in China would be affected by the Internet giant's complaints against China.
"I think there should be no limit on the use of any system as long as it complies with regulations in China, it has sound negotiations and cooperation with telecom operators and obeys relevant rules and requirement," Zhu told a news conference.
"The Chinese telecommunication market is an open market."
The Ministry oversees China's mobile telephone sector.
Zhu's remarks appeared to underscore that the Chinese government does not want to scare investors by directly attacking Google, and is instead directing its ire at the US government, which state-run newspapers have accused of "politicizing" the dispute.
Two weeks ago, Google threatened to shut its Chinese Google.cn portal and pull back from China, citing problems of censorship and a hacking attack from within the country. It is still filtering sensitive content on Google.cn.
The Obama administration backed Google's criticisms. Last on Thursday US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged China to drop Internet censorship and investigate the hacking.