The Chinese government backed down from a decision Wednesday according to which any computer in the country would be sold with Internet filtering software.
Just hours before the rule was to have taken effect, the government said it would postpone the requirement for the "Green Dam" software. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said it made the decision partly because some PC makers were having difficulty meeting the deadline. It did not say whether the plan might be revived.
The change of course averted a possible scuffle with Washington. Top US officials had protested the plan after it was imposed abruptly in May, calling it a barrier to trade. Angry Web users circulated online petitions protesting Green Dam, while industry groups warned the software might create computer security problems.