18 Domestic Firms Get Nod for Net Mapping

After tightening control over online mapping last month, Chinese authorities have announced that 18 domestic firms have been approved to provide the service. From China Daily:

Authorities have approved 18 domestic companies to provide Internet mapping services in the country, with a number of applications from foreign vendors still being considered.

The domestic companies were selected out of about 30 applicants and the list of approved providers is expected to be announced soon, the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping (SBSM) told China Daily.

The move is expected to pose challenges for the operation of foreign Internet companies such as Google in China.

“According to China’s Surveying and Mapping Law, foreign firms are not allowed to provide surveying and mapping services. Their activities in China must be under joint ventures or in partnership with domestic firms,” the SBSM said.

The regulator said it has received a few applications from eligible foreign firms and is “still examining” them.