UK & World News
Coca-Cola: China Investigates Sat Nav Use
Coca-Cola is being investigated by Chinese authorities for using satellite navigation to deliver their drinks.
Commercial sat navs using the US-made Global Positioning System (GPS) are restricted in China as the country keeps tight control on who has access to maps.
The only satellite navigation systems allowed to be sold use maps that are approved by the government.
It is not known if Coca-Cola is being investigated for using vehicle-mounted systems, similar to those made by Garmin or Tom Tom, or hand-held devices that merely give a user's exact position.
Analysts say the notoriously secretive country is paranoid that its national security could be put at risk by foreign-designed mapping technology.
Providers of all map apps for smartphones or map websites must obtain government licences. The maps that are approved often omit features that the government wants to keep secret.
Google Maps, which includes a satellite function that shows images taken from space, cannot be accessed in the country.
Coca-Cola was just one of 21 companies investigators in the south west province of Yunnan found using illegal GPS devices.
Li Pengde, the deputy director of the national surveying agency, told the China National Radio website the companies had set out to "illegally obtain classified information".
Coca-Cola said some of its trucks used "location-based customer logistics systems" to improve service and fuel efficiency.
"These customer logistics systems are broadly used for commercial application across many industries in China and worldwide," it said in a statement.
"After being contacted by local authorities, our bottling plants have co-operated fully with their enquiries to ensure that our customer logistics systems are in full compliance with current regulations."
China's government has in recent years accused dozens of people, some of them foreign geologists and other scientists, of violating its mapping restrictions.
The state has been creating its own satellite navigation system called Beidou, which uses military satellites for commercial navigation.
It hopes to roll the system out to 100 cities across China by 2020, up to 15 years behind rivals like Google.
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what do you think?
What are they trying to hide, or amass behind this blackout screen, if the rest of the world use the same systems, what do they have that is so important !!!!!!!
Should imagine most of country got them on the quiet as most probably made cheaply there