Spiegel online published a statement on Thursday, saying that the company had received a call from its publisher in China, but that it had not yet received official word on the plan.
The company said it had also been contacted by a news agency in Israel, which reported that Spiegel Online was preparing to begin mass circulation in China on Friday.
Spiegel Online said it would provide more details on the plans as they become available.
The statement came after Chinese state media reported that the publication was considering setting up a distribution network for its online content, including news and information about the Jewish state.
The newspaper has been in negotiations with the Chinese government to establish an Internet distribution center in Beijing, which would serve as a hub for distributing its content, Spiegel said in a statement.
“We are fully prepared to carry out a comprehensive and coordinated operation to distribute the news in a transparent and efficient way, in a way that is open to all,” Spiegel said.
China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported that “the state media office of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China” had “requested” Spiegel Online to provide a service for distributing Chinese news and other information in its Chinese language edition of the newspaper, which was published in China in October 2016.
Xinhua said the company would not be allowed to launch a distribution service for its Chinese-language edition, because the newspaper had not received a formal request from the government.
The report did not specify which news outlet Spiegel Online has contacted, but Spiegel Online also reported earlier this week that it was in discussions with a Chinese media outlet about the creation of a Chinese distribution service.
Spiegel said the Chinese authorities had requested that the site be closed to “foreign media.”
Chinese media have reported that China has been preparing for a new era of “Internet censorship,” which it calls “information warfare,” as it has expanded internet penetration across the country, restricting speech on social media and banning online video.