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This article was published on March 30, 2011

Google Maps might cease operations in China

Google Maps might cease operations in China
Francis Tan
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Francis Tan

Francis Tan is the Asia editor of TNW, who is based in the Philippines. He is particularly interested in Asian Internet startups, social me Francis Tan is the Asia editor of TNW, who is based in the Philippines. He is particularly interested in Asian Internet startups, social media and e-commerce. Get in touch with him via Twitter @francistan or Email [email protected].

A week ago, we reported that China launched a nationwide campaign to eliminate illegal online mapping services, with the country’s mapping bureau calling for the punishment of violators. According to China’s National Mapping Agency spokesman, the application for a Google Maps license is still missing as the deadline nears.

Chinese news blog Techweb reports that as of March 29, Google has not yet submitted to the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping its application for an Internet map license, despite the deadline falling on the March 31

Analysts believe that Google’s top competitor and the country’s dominating search market leader, Baidu, is still expanding its mapping service, making Google’s chances in China even bleaker.

According to the report, the national mapping agency is already on the second phase for relevant “standard” training and Google has yet to send a staff member to participate. As of mid-February, licenses had been granted to 105 websites across the country, including Baidu, Sina, Nokia and China Mobile.

The country in May last year implemented a new legislation requiring online map providers to have licenses in order to operate legally.

Google spokeswoman Jessica Powell refused to comment.

We reported last week that Google is not giving up on China and is determined to go headstrong in a bid to find new business in the lucrative country. It seems like Google Maps isn’t one of them.

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