China: Google Maps undergoing approval

Country's mapping bureau says license for Google Maps still being assessed, but Internet company's online map can continue operating in China for now.

China's National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation says it is still examining Google's license to serve online maps of the country but permits the U.S. Internet giant to continue its operations.

In a statement Wednesday, the bureau said Google's Chinese partner Guxiang had applied for a license in November. It noted that according to local regulations, online map services can still operate while their license is being examined but are not allowed to include new information in the service.

When approving licenses, the bureau said it would take into consideration Chinese regulations which state that foreign partners must not contribute more than 50 percent of investment  in the Chinese company.

As of Jan. 31, 2012, the Chinese government has approved a total of 279 online map licenses.

The statement confirms an earlier report by ZDNet Asia's sister site, CNET, which said Google revealed it was in discussions with the government on how it could offer maps service in China.

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