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Digital Mapping Firms Plan IPO

China Business Post, 1/18/08

Ji Ran, vice president of the Careland Group, one of eight digital map providers to have a superior ranking from the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping, has disclosed that the group has begun preparations for a market listing. Previously, Li Zhongliang, chairman of Beijing Lingtu Software Technologies Ltd. had also expressed that Lingtu hopes to list on the Nasdaq in 2008.

However, industry insiders believe that "it is basically impossible for digital map providers to list using surveying and mapping resources." Although the state does not have specific regulations barring surveying and mapping content from entering the market, the likelihood of it passing through is small due to national security considerations. A realistic approach for these companies to list would be to separate their map surveying and value-added service businesses, and then seek to list the latter.

Keywords: Ji Ran Careland Group Li Zhongliang Lingtu online mapping e-mapping 2008 Internet IPO Nasdaq State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping national security

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