China has postponed the rollout of its controversial and much criticised Green Dam internet filtering tool.
The Chinese government said that the date for the mandated inclusion of the filter would be put off to allow PC vendors extra time to prepare for the law, which requires all systems sold in the country to be bundled with the software, according to the Xinhua news agency.
The country's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology had set 1 July as the deadline for compliance with the law. No new deadline has been given.
The directive emerged earlier this month when word surfaced that PC vendors were being forced to include the software as a pre-installation or a bundled offering with all new systems sold in China.
The move generated heated debate and drew criticism from many groups, including the US Secretary of Commerce.
Chinese government officials maintained that the software could be disabled by users and would block only pornographic content. Opponents of the measure, however, argued that the software could be used to further tighten the country's grip on internet access and censorship.
A group of Chinese citizens opposed to the law were planning to conduct a one-day boycott of the internet in protest.
Some companies have also expressed concerns that possible intellectual property violations in the Green Dam tool could prevent US software vendors from exporting systems with the software installed.
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