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Let the Mapping Wars Begin!

As location-aware applications become more core for mobile services, especially with the launch of the new iPhone 4, location and mapping services become ever more important.

The Chinese government has made clear that non-Chinese owned mapping companies will not be able to provide basic mapping services and AutoNavi is filing for an IPO. Will be interesting to see if AutoNavi tries to get its products/services into mobile phones.

In the meantime, Apple is getting more aggressive about protecting and using the data it collects on iOS 4, and this has caught the attention of US legislators.

In the short term, this will give Hong Kong an advantage for developing these applications, because it is relatively restriction-free, as I mentioned in this article for Forbes.com The China Tracker.

The issues are complicated, and will converge in a way most people are not yet aware of. Will write more about this subject later.