China to Investigate Google for Illegal Maps: Official Media

From AFP:

China has launched an investigation into online mapping services by Internet giants including Google and Sohu in an effort to protect state secrets and territorial integrity, state press said.

According to Min Yiren, vice head of the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping, authorities hope to get rid of online maps that wrongly depict China’s borders or that reveal military secrets, the People’s Daily said Monday.

The government began the investigation into the problematic maps in April and will continue it until the end of the year, the report said.

Min cited five areas of concern, with the redrawing of China’s borders and placing disputed territory outside the nation the top priority, it said.

The U.K. Telegraph adds:

The [State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping] gave no indication of what the result of the investigation was likely to be. Most of the companies named were China’s own internet giants, such as the Sohu.com chain of websites and Baidu, the most popular Chinese search engine, all of which conform tightly to government censorship requirements.

Google China is also obliged to conform, censoring its search facility to focus on approved websites. But much of its operations are hosted on Google servers elsewhere, over which the Chinese authorities have no authority, though they can order them to be blocked by the so-called “Great Firewall” of China.

May 6, 2008 12:53 PM
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Categories: Politics, Sci-Tech