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Nokia in maps tie-up with China's Sina, Tencent

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Jan 28, 2011
Nokia on Friday announced a deal with Chinese Internet firms Sina and Tencent to let phone users upload their location to social networks together with tips on local services via Nokia's map service.

Subscribers to Sina's microblog and Tencent's QQ instant-messaging service will be able to share their location on the social networking sites using their Nokia Internet-connected mobile phones, Nokia said in a statement following the signing of the deal.

The new offering, which will allow users to upload information about local restaurants, shops and movie theatres, will be available through Nokia's Ovi Map service in the first quarter of 2011.

"This collaboration with Sina and Tencent marks a significant milestone," said Phil Kemp, vice president of Nokia Services.

"More than 250 million people are using a Nokia device in China and with this partnership we can help people share their location with their friends and communities through Ovi Maps on their favourite social network."

Nokia did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

Home-grown social networking sites have flourished in China in the absence of foreign competitors Facebook and Twitter, which have been banned by the government.

Beijing blocks web content that it deems politically sensitive in a vast system dubbed the "Great Firewall of China".

Friday's announcement boosted the Hong Kong-listed shares of Tencent, which had the biggest gains of the day, rising 1.8 percent to HK$203.40 ($26.11), Dow Jones Newswires reported.

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