China releases new rules on online map services

Updated: 2015-12-14 17:29


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BEIJING - China introduced a set of new regulations for online map services as part of a broader update on Monday.

The document, signed by Premier Li Keqiang and taking effect on Jan 1, 2016, upholds the basic principles of safeguarding national sovereignty and geographic information security, as well as improving public services, said the State Council, China's cabinet, in a statement.

Rules concerning market entry, data security management, user information protection, supervision and registration of internet map services have been specified in the new chapter. The new regulations seek to strengthen policy support and supervision over the fairly young industry.

The regulations state providers of online map services must possess mapping qualifications, must house servers storing geographic data within Chinese territory and must develop measures to ensure data security.

They are also required to ask for users' permission before collecting and using personal information, and are banned from leaking, tampering, selling or illegally providing the information to others.

Service providers are required to stop transmitting map information and report to mapping, publishing or internet security authorities when illegal content is detected.

The regulations also stipulate online map service providers must thoroughly examine updated information of maps, inform mapping authorities and file the information.