China has been censoring a lot of Internet related stuff lately – the latest victim is online maps. Citing security concerns, the Chinese government is going to impose some very restricting rules about maps on the Internet and location-based services in China…
The new rules, which will come in effect next month, include stuff like requiring “servers storing map data” to be located in China and those servers must not have had any information leaks of any kind in the last three years.
These restrictions apply to both maps and satellite images as well as maps downloaded or copied to mobile phones.
This likely means that Google Maps is going to be banned in China – after the China/Google disagreement, the search giant moved its Chinese servers to Hong Kong. There’s no official response from Google yet, though.
Apparently, Nokia hasn’t commented on how this will affect them either (they own map-maker NAVTEQ). And I’m not sure where Bing Map’s servers are, but they may be in trouble too.
Related location-based services are collateral damage to the new rules – some use map data from Google and I’m pretty sure none of them can afford to set up China-based servers so they store “map data”.