China 'Google Maps Must Obtain Operating License by July 2011' Or Face State Action

Google must get a license for Google Maps to operate in China, if the company don't have the licenses by July 1, the bureau will punish according to the law. "China will investigate and prosecute Google next July if the search engine company doesn't acquire the necessary state license to operate its Google Maps service […]

Google must get a license for Google Maps to operate in China, if the company don't have the licenses by July 1, the bureau will punish according to the law. "China will investigate and prosecute Google next July if the search engine company doesn't acquire the necessary state license to operate its Google Maps service in the country."

China introduced the new mapping regulations to "prevent security leaks and to ensure all online maps would provide accurate data for its users." But in order to qualify for approval, companies must store all their mapping data in servers located in China.

Domestic search engine Baidu, which holds a 73% market share, has already received approval for a mapping license. Microsoft's joint venture in China is in the process of applying, the bureau said.

Google which's China's second largest search engine, with a 21.6% market share, responded "We're examining the regulations to understand their impact on our maps products in China," Google said.

The State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping launched its own online mapping service "Map World," the site is still in its beta stages, but offers two-dimensional and three-dimensional maps. Analysts say it'll be a way for the government to judge the accuracy of other online mapping services in the country.

[Source]