Google fails to make China’s mapping list

By : |June 30, 2010 0

BEIJING, CHINA: Google Inc has not found a place on the initial list of companies that China plans to approve to provide online mapping services in the country, a media report said on Thursday.

Twenty-three domestic companies including Baidu, Alibaba and Sohu are among those expected to be granted a licence to provide the services, the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping (SBSM) has said.

Google on Tuesday stopped automatically redirecting Chinese users to its Hong Kong site after the government called the approach "unacceptable" and refused to renew the ICP licence of its domestic site Google.cn, the company said.

Google’s failure to make the list may bring uncertainties for the US-based Internet search giant’s Chinese operations, as its domestic website licence expired Wednesday, China Daily reported.

Other foreign companies such as Microsoft and Nokia which reportedly applied for licences were also not included in the latest list.

According to SBSM, companies that fail to get a licence from the SBSM will also be unable to provide Internet mapping services via mobile phones in the country.

That will impact Google’s two millions active mobile map users in China, China Daily quoted an analyst as saying.

Meanwhile, a company running Google’s China website has pledged to "abide by the Chinese law" in a letter of application to renew Google’s operation licence, government sources told Xinhua on Wednesday.

Guxiang Information Technology Co. Ltd., operator of Google.cn, had submitted an application to China’s ministry of industry and information technology to renew its Internet Content Provider (ICP) licence, permit to run websites in China, an official in charge of Internet administration, said.

Guxiang promised that all contents it provides are subject to supervision of government regulators, said the official.

The official said the licence renewal application from Guxiang had come late, but related government agencies were using the time to go through procedures.

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