Commerce Secretary Gary Locke says China must provide a 'secure' commercial environment for companies such as Google and that the US is 'troubled' by recent cyberattacks originating in China last month and targeting human rights activists.
Google has already threatened to pull out of the country following the attacks on Gmail accounts.
"The recent cyber intrusion that Google attributes to China is troubling to the US government and American companies doing business in China," said Locke.
The Commerce Secretary added that the matter should be just as worrying for the Chinese government and that he had personally raised the issue with Chinese officials and had stressed the importance that President Obama placed on 'the full and free flow of information on the internet'.
Google says it plans to hold talks with the Chinese Government in the coming weeks to resolve the situation after an internal investigation revealed that the accounts of US, Chinese and European Gmail users appeared to have been 'routinely accessed by third parties' through the use of malware or phishing scams, rather than any security breach on the Gmail servers themselves.