) -- China's Ministry of Information and Industry Technology may tighten restrictions on Internet calling services, potentially bringing Skype's expansion in China to a halt.

According to a report from


, China's Ministry of Information issued a statement saying it would be going after what it deemed to be illegal voice over Internet protocol, or VOIP, telephone services. No services were singled out as target in the statement.

According to


, tightening restriction on such services is likely intended to protect China's three major government-controlled phone carriers.

Skype is preparing to sell as much as $1 billion worth of its

shares in a public offering


The Luxembourg-based Internet calling and video conferencing company split from


(EBAY) - Get Report

last year when its founders and private equity investors bought the unit. In August, Skype filed an S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission detailing the company's performance and its intent to offer stock to the public.

-- Written by Ross Tucker in New York.

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