The chief executive of domestic Chinese search engine Baidu has said he is prepared to take on Google if the US giant returns to the market.
In a posting on a private social media account today, Robin Li said if the two companies come head to head, "Baidu will win again". "Chinese companies today have plenty of ability and confidence" to compete globally, he added.
Google was reported last week to be developing a censored version of its search engine for Chinese users, having entered into talks with government officials at the end of last year. The search engine has been blocked there since 2010, leaving Baidu to dominate the current market.
Google declined to comment on the report and Lis comments.
Though companies have often faced criticism for attempting to work around Chinas censorship laws, US tech giants have been nothing but eager to increase their presence in the country.
Facebook was reported to be setting up a subsidiary in China at the beginning of June, in a move which has since been squashed after Chinese regulators rejected the social media sites application.