We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
78,780 News Articles

Google applies for map license in China as deadline looms

The deadline to be granted an online mapping license in China is July 1

Google has applied for the necessary license to continue operating its online maps in China as the deadline for obtaining government approval approaches.

China's State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping said on Tuesday Google had applied for the license through a joint venture company. The application is currently under review.

Chinese authorities introduced new rules last year, stating that all companies providing online maps must obtain a license. Companies that do not meet the July 1 deadline will face prosecution by the Chinese government.

Google offered no new comment, only citing its previous response: "We're in discussions with the government about how we could offers a maps product in China."

The search giant is applying for the license as it has already faced difficulties with Chinese government regulations. Last year, Google's China operations faced a possible shutdown after the company announced it would no longer abide by the country's censorship laws and filter out certain search queries in China. The government, however, decided to renew a critical content provider license for Google.

But while Google continues to operate in the country, some of its products are blocked, including YouTube and Blogger. China regularly blocks websites containing politically sensitive content. Gmail has also been slow to access at times, the result of Chinese government interference, according to Google.

The company currently has a 19.2 percent share of the search engine market in China, according to Beijing-based research firm Analysys International. Domestic company Baidu is ranked first with a 75.8 percent share.

China is instituting the new regulations to prevent security leaks of sensitive locations and to ensure all online maps are accurate for users. Companies that wish to qualify, however, must store all their mapping data in servers located in the country.

China's State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping also revealed a change to the mapping regulations earlier this month. Authorities now state foreign companies can only apply for a mapping license through joint ventures with local Chinese companies.

In Google's case, the company that applied for the license, Guxiang Information Technology Co., is a joint venture between the search giant and a local Chinese partner.

Microsoft and Nokia have also applied for online mapping licenses through joint ventures with Chinese companies. Nokia has already received its license, while Microsoft continues to wait for approval.


IDG UK Sites

Top 5 Android tips and tricks for smartphones and tablets

IDG UK Sites

How to join Apple's OS X Beta Seed Program: Get OS X Yosemite on your Mac before public release

IDG UK Sites

Why the BBC iPlayer outage was caused by a DDoS attack: Topsy and Tim isn't *that* popular

IDG UK Sites

BBC using Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games to trial 4K/UHD, pan-around video, augmented video and...