eldavojohn writes "Back in May, China rolled out new laws requiring online mapping services to be 'certified' by the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping. The laws appear to go into effect this month. Today an AFP article outlines Google's consideration of these rules and notes that it's unlikely Google will meet the qualifications to become certified as all of its servers holding the mapping data are outside of China. The AFP also reported that 'Foreign firms wanting to provide mapping and surveying services in China are required to set up joint ventures or partnerships with local firms.' Unless large changes are made, Google's services might get a lot more stunted as China regulates onward."