According to a local report, Google China has filed an application for map license to operate online map service in China through Beijing Guxiang Information Technology Co., a joint venture by Google and Ganji.com.
An anonymous official from China’s State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping disclosed that Google China did applied for the license, and “the application is still in review.”
According to local ruling, all entities that offer online map service in China should obtain a Map License by July 1, 2011; otherwise they’re not allowed to continue with their offerings.
However, obtaining the license may be the least Google China should worry about, because lots of Google China Map Service customers have choose or are about to adopt another service such as Baidu Map. They’re concerned that their business may be hindered if Google China failed in the application.
One technical leader at a Chinese group buy site said that, Google China Map faces uncertainties that will scare away customers. And Wang Xinguang, COO of Lookoo.cn, a Chinese life services site, remarked that even knowing Google has filed for map license, “we still decide to choose another map service because of the unpredictability regarding Google China Map.” Currently there’re thousands of sites using Google China’s map service, including social rating service Dianping.com, LBS sites such as Jiepang.com and Qieke.com and so on.