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China plans to allow Nokia online map services

Beijing, China: China plans to approve a joint venture of Nokia Corp. (NOK) to offer online mapping services in the country, according to a statement posted on China’s State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping website, after new rules had raised a potential obstacle to foreign companies offering such services.

In May, the bureau issued rules requiring all companies that provide online mapping and location services in China to apply for approval to continue operating.

China’s mapping bureau said in a statement that it planned to approve the Nokia joint venture to offer online mapping services, following a nine-day period for the public to lodge objections. China often solicits public opinion on regulations before they take effect.

The new rules had raised concerns about foreign companies’ continuing provision of online mapping services in the country. China has long seen mapping as a sensitive area due to disagreements about its national borders and concerns about national security.

Source: WSJ.com