Google has applied for a licence to keep on serving maps in China, in the face of a government crackdown on unauthorised mapping services.
In June 2010, the Chinese government launched a scheme to weed out user-generated maps. It announced that map providers would have to receive licences from the government to operate in the country and they would be expected to host their maps of China within the country's borders.
Google, and other companies, have till 1 July to acquire the requisite licences. Google has applied for the licence, through a partner company, named Beijing Guxiang Information Technology Co, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
China stepped up pressure on map providers in March, when the Chinese State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping announced it was working with 13 government agencies across the country to crack down on illegal mapping services.
At the time of writing ZDNet UK had not received clarification from Google on when it applied for the licence and if it would be basing map data within the Chinese border.
In March Google indicated it was in discussions with the Chinese government.