China’s State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping confirms that it will not shut down online mapping services of companies that have submitted their applications and are currently under examination, which leaves Google and Microsoft in the clear — for now.
China introduced the new regulation, requiring a state license in order to operate maps in the country. The bureau had made it clear that it would shut down unqualified websites and those that have failed to apply for a license from July 1.
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While the applications are still under review, both Google and Microsoft will be allowed to continue operating in the country.
Previous regulations stipulated that in order to provide online mapping services, a foreign company had to form a joint venture with a Chinese counterpart, with the domestic company owning a controlling stake. However it was decided later on that the Chinese enterprise would not necessarily have to control the company.
Under the new conditions, foreign companies will be required to store all mapping data locally in China. The measures are said to be in place to prevent any sensitive information being leaked through the online maps.
Looks like Google won’t be shutting down its service in China yet.