A number of people in China are having trouble with GPS navigation systems in their cars, because they are installed with counterfeit electronic maps, but authorities are doing nothing about the problem as there are no laws regulating the industry. Over the past six months, the Chinese Academy of Surveying and Mapping has granted eight companies across the country a certificate allowing them to produce electronic navigation maps.
Industry sources, however, say the number of fake maps on the market far exceed the number of genuine ones.
GPS equipment receives signals from a system of 24 satellites, allowing it to accurately calculate the position of a car within a few meters at any time. The electronic maps allow the system to tell drivers the best route to take to any destination. Legal maps cost more than 1,000 yuan (US$123) a piece, while counterfeits can sell for as little as 15 yuan. The low price has proven attractive to many drivers, although authorities can’t say how many fake maps have been sold in the city.