BEIJING, June 8 (Xinhua) -- Foreign companies are effectively banned from providing Internet mapping services in China, however joint ventures are exempted, according to a notice issued by the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping on Wednesday.
The notice cited an amended regulation on overseas organizations and individuals that offer online mapping services. This amendment has been in effect since April 27, 2011.
The amendment also states that, for joint ventures with Internet mapping as their sole business, foreign investors cannot own more than 50 percent of the enterprise.
According to the notice, the amended regulation sets a stricter criteria for market entry which helps tighten up the rules governing the Internet mapping service market.
As the Internet mapping service market is developing rapidly, a lot of problems are surfacing, such as confidential geographic information being marked on maps, and maps showing no respect for China's territorial integrity, reads the notice.
The amended regulation also clarifies requirements for overseas companies and individuals surveying China's territory. They can either set up joint-ventures, contractual joint-ventures, or do one-off surveying with permission of relevant authorities.
In addition, the regulation bans foreign companies and individuals surveying and mapping of borders between administrative regions in China, as well as surveying and mapping of oceans.