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back to article Map law could see China confiscate mobes at Customs

Travellers to China would be well-advised to check their mobile mapping clients before embarking, after it emerged that customs officers have been given the power to confiscate any device featuring illegal maps, such as those mislabelling important islands. The new policy would see any mobiles or tablets seized at the border …

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Bleh.

This = BS.

China won't be confiscating mobes at customs at all.

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Re: Bleh.

Well, the article did point to one or two bits of evidence for its claims.

Do you have any evidence for YOUR claim, Stephen 2?

Register 15 - 0 Stephen

Stephen's serve.

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Re: Bleh.

I wouldn't be so sure. There was a spate of Chinese Officials confiscating guidebooks at certain borders due to mapping "errors". There was no argument or understanding, just took the book and didn't give it back.

It is unlikely to happen on the Hong Kong/Chinese border but some of the lesser ones, maybe. I'm pretty sure it will be returned for a wad of Yuan though.

My advice, would be password protect it and then plead ignorance for as long as it takes to wave you through.

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Re: Bleh.

You can always bribe the customs officials.

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FAIL

Re: Bleh.

Yes, and with luck you can get an all expenses to pay 'hotel' room for a while, it might even be for a long while.

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Re: Bleh.

Obviously you have never been to China.

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Whilst I realise the British are imprisoning people for illegal opinions, I wouldn't expect this kind of thing from the Chinese.

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Curious what exactly are the illegal opinions and who are these people that the British are imprisoning??

And as for China, this is a country that enforced a two child only law which saw people actively killing their own children if they were not the correct sex. And if somebody happened to have another baby the state would kill it!!

A country who in general doesnt actively like free speech so they ban that as well closely followed by censoring the website/s that promote a negative view of China.

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" I wouldn't expect this kind of thing from the Chinese."

Maybe you wouldn't. For the rest of us it merely serves as a signpost that says "Tinpot dictatorship ahead". The sort of wank-law that you get in Russia, Iran, and North Korea (and probably Argentina, as well), and other countries that believe that the president's opinion on something as trivial as a name is something all must subscribe to.

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Anonymous Coward

illegal opinions...

well, like certain part of a population, that holds an opinion, that British soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan, or elsewhere, are occupants and deserve to die, etc.. Or that, in return for this occupation (or "occupation"), it's ok to blow up this or that civilian means of mass transportation, ideally with as many civilians as possible inside, without actually planning to do it, or doing it, or encouraging others to do it. So, is it legal to make this opinion known to others in the UK? Surely not?

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Anonymous Coward

If he told you, he would face the risk of being associated with those opinions and end up getting a tough time. That's the kind of society we're in today; people get sacked, prosecuted, disenfranchised and silenced for the wrong opinions and so nobody wants to give the impression that they have those opinions because the consequences can be too painful (while technically not illegal, the consequences are almost the same as if they were). There's a climate of fear.

On a lighter note, are iOS6 users exempt due to Apple's ineptitude rewsulting in iMaps referring to one of the Senkaku islands as Barry Island?

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Unhappy

Two children? How about ONE child and all extras USD$40,000 each?

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Anonymous Coward

re "if somebody happened to have another baby the state would kill it!!"

Where did you hear such nonsense? The 'state' did no such thing...

Firstly it was a 1 child policy, now a 2 child depending when you were born..

also you were allowed a second child if the first was a girl...

There were punishments but usually fines..

Corrupt officials might have done some bad things like forced abortions and sterilisations without permission during the birth (most births are by caesarean in china), but not state sanctioned..

But the state is getting better at eliminating the corrupt officials..

In general the population control is a VERY good thing.. We need to introduce controls in this country very soon..

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Re: illegal opinions...

Or even the opinion that you don't think Daily Express/Princess Di levels of national hypocrisy are necessary for every missing kid.

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Anonymous Coward

Easy, though not entirely free, to circumvent.

1) Back up all your data.

2) Phone confiscated at border.

3) Travel to nearest city center market district.

4) Buy an equivalent mobile phone from a street vendor*

5) Re-load your data.

* Give it 48 hours and you might even find your own original phone to buy back!

Viva la Middle Kingdom.

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Not technically "news"

Don't the maps in question come from that thar internetty thing, so isn't this really just a spin on "If China doesn't like what's on your foreign website, you aren't allowed to view that site when you're in China."?

The "solution" is for Google et al to send different map data based on the current geographical location of the recipient, rather than their nationality. Or maybe not travel to a country that treats its own population as a slave workforce and executes anyone who disagrees too loudly.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not technically "news"

Not exactly. The much maligned IOS6 maps are vector maps that can be stored on the idevice. Chances ar this is why this is news .. Again.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not technically "news"

Can be != have to be. So long as you remove the maps before crossing the border, disable your connection and re-download on the other side, I don't see the problem. It's no different for Google maps. Unless you can't clear the cached maps on iOS, I don't own one so can't say.

It'll be the ones that work only with downloaded data that'll have problems.

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Anonymous Coward

Why can't they leave Japan's island alone? Get your own island, china.

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They have at least one...

It's called "Taiwan" - but the People's Liberation Army Navy isn't badass enough to take it back. Yet.

:|

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Re: They have at least one...

I believe that the gravel in their gearboxes is the small matter of a US treaty with Taiwan, guaranteeing their sovereignty.

The level of badassedness required to go toe-to-toe with multiple US carrier battle groups is pretty bloody impressive.

PS: "People's Liberation Army Navy" sounds like a bit of an oxymoron. I wonder why they didn't just go for People's Liberation Navy?

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Anonymous Coward

I support china on its island disputes..

Taiwan SHOULD be part of china, they are technically a rouge state, just a situation that's been let go WAY too long...

When it comes to the other island they both have a valid claim, but china has the biggest army so it wins!

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Re: They have at least one...

the PLA is badass enough, just the government doesn't want the innocent lives lost that would be if it invaded...

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Happy

Lipstick?

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I think china is the "rouge" state - even with their capitalistic shift they are still official "red"

Taiwan isn't even slightly pink-ish

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Joke

I'll just leave this here...

http://shanghaiist.com/2012/10/11/china_to_collect_samples_from_mars.php

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Joke

As most gadgets are made in China

Wouldn't it be easier for the Chinese authorities to sieze the offending items en masse before export?

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Re: As most gadgets are made in China

maybe stocks are low, hence the seizures :)

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bs

if they want to avoid international incidents, they BETTER warn all the transport carriers to warn passengers before booking a flight. And, they better allow the arriving passenger the option to reverse course onto a flight directly from the customs area.

If they do confiscate maps, it would completly violate or nullify their customs banners language that was posted as of September.

Hopefully, this is just FUD and goes away. Blaming phone owners for maps with politically undesireable labels is almost like faulting car owners for manufacturer defects. But the twisted logic of some politicians will describe it as drivers acting as mules or knowingly importing contraband. So, will China confiscate old books and paper maps and newspapers that have historic or dated maps?

Sigh....

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Evidently The Register is using a legal map, in which Taiwan is included in mainland China, otherwise, why mention Taiwan?

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Solution

Uninstall maps then reinstall it when you are past the border.

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Joke

Could we try the same here?

If their maps show the Falkland Islands as the Malvinas, whip their iThing off them!

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Re: Could we try the same here?

We aren't that petty, the Argies can call them anything they like, but they aren't getting them as long as the Falklanders want to be British.

I can see the Spanish confiscating any maps which show Gibraltar, as leave it out of all theirs.

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Anonymous Coward

Unlikely it will change anything

I've crossed the Chinese border about a dozen times in the last 5 years, Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, and they never, ever had a second look at my luggage. So far, it's been consistently more hassle-free than crossing the US border.

And the lines are not small at the immigration checkpoint, though it's extremely streamlined with rarely a single word spoken on either side. Checking maps on each and every electronic device? People who suggest that have no idea of what it'd mean practically. Starting up all thousands of cell phones in a day? Recharging those with no power? Download maps maybe?

It sounds very much like the USoA customs: they have the power to open your laptop, demand you hand over any password, and make a full copy of everything it contains, but they only do that to people they want to annoy, not to everybody.

It's just posturing, like governments always do.

PS: I did see a lady's bag being open and an item confiscated once in Beijing - it was a fresh fruit. She was lightly chided by the custom officer who found it.

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Re: Unlikely it will change anything

I've crossed into China numerous times in the past 10 years, usually via Beijing or Shanghai. During that time, I saw one person stopped at entry into Beijing and told off for bringing in a sandwich they hadn't eaten whilst traveling. On my first visit, I was worried by the stern notices about the banning of CDs and so on at the customs posts (this was before the new terminal was opened at Beijing Capital Airport). So, I declared my 3 CDs containing music I wanted to losten to whilst there. I was told off by the customs officer for interrupting his dozing by such a small matter and waved through without anything being confiscated.

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Facepalm

What if Japan did this too?

You'd either have a phone that could enter China but be banned from Japan, or have on that could enter Japan but be banned from China.

Then the only solution will be when the GPS/cell tower info indicates it is in or near China, show the China mandated version, and when it indicates it is in or near Japan show the Japanese version. When elsewhere it can show whatever the hell they damn please because no one outside of China or Japan cares one whit about those islands.

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Re: What if Japan did this too?

if the vote goes the right way we could have the same issue with Berwick!

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