30 Jun 2010 10:50

China grants Internet mapping licenses, Google Maps denied

Shanghai. June 30. INTERFAX-CHINA -The State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping (SBSM) announced on June 28 that it granted licenses to 14 domestic Internet mapping firms.

The approved companies, including Baidu Maps, Sogou Maps, MapABC and Mapbar Inc. , were accorded licenses, while the China arm of leading global Internet mapping firm Google Maps was denied a license, according to the SBSM announcement.

In May 2010, the SBSM required online mapping and surveying companies to apply for licenses by the end of the year. Internet mapping firms that failed to obtain a license would be shut down, according to the SBSM.

Foreign companies are only allowed to provide surveying and mapping services by partnering with a domestic company, according to China's Surveying and Mapping Law.

"In the past, a lack of effective management resulted information that threatened national security, so it's good there is industry regulation," Mapbar's PR manager, surnamed Luo, told Interfax on June 30.

The online map market generated revenue of RMB 330 million ($48.6 million) in 2009, up 34.7 percent year-on-year, according to market research firm Analysys International.