GPS tagging in China

Started May 11, 2012 | Discussions thread
Peter Kwok
Peter Kwok Senior Member • Posts: 2,418
Re: Using GPS is technically illegal in China

Dan 1964 wrote:

Bjorn Holmsen wrote:

You describe rules and how they are enforced (or not) spot on!

The ipad version with built-in GPS was much delayed in China due to special approvals, although it was possible to buy smuggled HK or overseas versions pretty much everywhere.

Some may not know about but up until maybe four years ago phones with built-in wifi were not allowed in China. The manufacturers, in order to get license to sell their units in China, had to disable the wifi especially for the Chinese markets. Then there was a market for UBS plug-ins with wifi to circumvent this.

I guess Canon had to disable the 6D GPS to get approval for China. The Chinese may allow GPS in combination with simpler cameras, but not in combination with a high-resolution DSLR like the 6D. It could be fitted with a powerful telephoto-lens, and then it could be used to estimate the location of distant objects, exactly so if yo know the size of the object you photograph.

Likewise, short-wave or hamradios are not allowed at all, but you can buy virtually any Yaesu or Kenwood model in China. For a while you could spot cabs with a jungle of antennas on the roofs or the hoods and the drivers talking to other drivers in town on the international amateur frequencies. I do not see many antennas anymore so I guess they may have enforced the rules now.

Foreigners with an amateur radio license could apply for a license in China too, but upon checking it was a mirage, with a Chinese "license" the foreigner was still not allowed to operate any radio, including walkie-talkies, let alone own any, but the "license" entitled the licensee to come and "look" at the radios and broadcasting equipment at the central authority in Beijing...

There are, or were at least (haven't checked for a while) apps available for download that could automatically adjust for the misalignment of google maps.

I have lived many years in China and you will be surprised how many rules there are, and in the end you just give up. I had an exhibition in the 798 art district in Beijing last year, mostly displaying pictures from all over China. Not knowing it at the start of the exhibition, inspectors were there every day to check the "compliance" of my pictures. After a couple of days I found out when they approached me and said that some of my pictures were "technically" not fully compliant, but they let it pass this time since the vast majority of my pictures were "positive" and the audience was limited. I could not show, without approval, very poor or dilapidated houses, unhappy kids in Tibet, or any pictures of disasters in China. Or any aerial pictures for that matter. But for a later publication in an art magazine, many of the pictures were rejected because of the censorship.

As you are saying, China is Paranoid and they have many weir law and rules!

So what do you think they would do if a tourist goes to visit China with a Canon 6 d that has a GPS option on it, would they be that crazy enough to take it away from him?

In China, rules are the tools of the ruling Communists, just like another hammer in the tool box.  They don't have to use it.

But, if you do something they don't like, for example, visiting a dissident, then taking GPS tagged photos may add another 10 years to your sentence for spying.  Otherwise, you are safe.

-- hide signature --

Peter Kwok
Click here for my PBase gallery
WYSIWYG - If you don't like what you get, try to see differently.

 Peter Kwok's gear list:Peter Kwok's gear list
Canon EOS M Canon EOS 5DS Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM Canon EOS M6 +5 more
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow