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Also Thursday, a state-run newspaper said Google is not on the first list of companies the government plans to approve to provide online mapping services.

Twenty-three domestic companies including Baidu, portal Sohu Inc. and e-commerce site Alibaba are among those expected to be approved, the China Daily said, citing the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping.

Asked for comment on Google’s situation, a U.S. State Department spokesman, P.J. Crowley, said Wednesday in Washington, “I think there are negotiations ongoing, and these are a matter between China and Google.”

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Google China site (in Chinese): www.google.cn