Netherlands-based TomTom has signed a deal with China's AutoNavi Holdings Limited to form a joint venture in China.

The joint venture will be 51% held by AutoNavi and 49% held by TomTom. Specific financial terms of the deal, including capitalization of the business and the entity's specific scope of business, were not disclosed.

Foreign involvement in map-based businesses in China has become problematic. On May 17, 2010, the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping published the latest revised Internet Map Service Professional Standards, which clarify regulations in various sectors, including qualification examinations, service ranges, quality management, security, and copyright protection. It divided the qualifications of Internet map service providers into Class A and Class B. In addition, the standards include maps designed for mobile Internet devices such as mobile phones and PDAs in the management range of Internet maps for the first time.

This collaboration provides TomTom and global automotive, location based services and handset companies access to industry leading digital maps and real-time traffic services in China in a standard TomTom format.

AutoNavi is a leading provider of digital map content and navigation and location-based solutions in China. At the core of its business is a comprehensive nationwide digital map database that covers approximately 2.8 million kilometers of roadway and over 12.5 million points of interest across China.


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