China not planning to shut down Microsoft or Google mapping services

It looks as though mapping services provided in China by both Microsoft and Google are no longer under threat of being shut down, according to the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping. The State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping said, "We will not investigate or shut down the websites that have submitted their applications and are under examination.” According to TMCNet this marked the first the time that regulator has denied that it had plans to close the two companies' online mapping services.

The rumors of the mapping service closures came when the bureau originally stated that they would begin to close down websites that had not qualified or applied for a mapping license before July 1st. The bureau went on to say that because they have already received applications to provide mapping services from both Google and Microsoft, they wouldn’t be closing them down. Google’s Chinese spokesperson Marsha Wang would not comment on the issue but did say, “We're in discussions with the government about how we can offer a mapping product in China".

Regulations in China have changed recently. It used to be that in order to provide mapping services in the country, a foreign company had to form a joint venture with a Chinese counterpart who held a controlling stake. This ruling changed in June, meaning that foreign companies rather than a Chinese based one could control the company if need be.

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