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US search engines, Google and Microsoft's Bing did not apply for the Internet map service licenses which was granted by China to first batch of 31 Chinese and joint-venture operators, sparking speculation about their future operations in that country.
China which has tightened rules over circulation of maps in the internet citing security reasons, granted licenses to the operators including, a map publisher, several map service providers affiliated with Chinese portals such as Baidu.com and Sina.com.
Operators who obtained a class-A license will be allowed to conduct services, including map searching and locations, marking geographic information, downloading and copying of maps, and map transmissions and quotations.