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China Unicom must apply for online maps license

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BEIJING, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- China Unicom, the country's second largest mobile operator, has been asked to apply for a license for its Internet maps service, which is being operated without official approval, the mapping service regulator said Monday.

The company will be further dealt with in accordance with laws if it fails to submit the application by Feb. 29 but will continue the mapping service, according to a statement Xinhua received from the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation.

China Unicom has agreed to submit the license application before the deadline, according to the administration, who recently summoned China Unicom and other organizations for talks over their unauthorized mapping services.

The administration said those who continued to provide maps without a permit will be penalized.

As of Jan. 31, a total of 279 firms or organizations have been granted licenses for offering online mapping services in China, the administration said, adding that it has almost achieved the goal of ensuring that all existing service providers operate with permits.

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