Chinese internet filter will not be forced on users

China has backed down over plans to bundle internet filtering software on every computer sold in the country, according to reports.

China's industry minister Li Yizhong said that China would not force Green Dam internet filtering software on PCs.

Although the filtering plans were said to be 'delayed' at the end of June, this was clear confirmation that the scheme would not be compulsory for all.

However, the BBC said it would still be installed on public computers, while the Wall Street Journal quoted Li as saying that the software was always intended to be optional.

The original plan meant that PC makers would have been forced to bundle internet filtering software that filtered "unhealthy words and images", which the Chinese state claimed meant violence and pornography.

But as many aspects of the software were unknown, the computer industry was worried that this could open channels for industrial and government espionage, as well as simply the blocking of content the state disliked.