Nokia Ovi Maps for Social Networkers in China

Leading mobile phone maker Nokia has signed agreements with China’s two Internet service providers, SINA and Tencent.

Services from both of them will be integrated with Nokia’s Ovi Maps in China, inviting millions of people to share their location with friends and communities through Ovi Maps on their favorite social network.

Users of SINA microblog and Tencent’s online community (QQ) will be able to share their location through Nokia mobile devices, check-in to locations and be able to upload location based content such as recommendations and comments of restaurants, shops and movie theatres.

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Similarly, Microsoft Windows Phone users can also access mapping capabilities on their phone with the ArcGIS for Windows Phone app. The application lets you find, use, and share maps as well as deploy GIS data and functionality on Windows Phone devices. The free app is available and can be downloaded directly from the Windows Marketplace. (Read: Free Windows Phone 7 App for Mapping)

With a view to expand its business in diverse markets, Nokia also offered Ovi Life Tools, its leading emerging market information service, in Nigeria, which is one of Africa’s fastest growing economies and the continent’s largest mobile market. The African launch followed hot on the heels of Nokia’s other launches in Indonesia, India and China. (Read: Nokia Calling Africa with Ovi Life Tools)

The company says the first location based services for SINA and Tencent customers through Ovi Maps are planned to be available during the first quarter of 2011.

“This collaboration with SINA and Tencent marks a significant milestone, as we bring together mobile internet and location based services in China. 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 favorite social network,” said Phil Kemp, VP, Services, Nokia.

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“With Nokia’s Ovi Maps and SINA’s location based services, we will be able to offer SINA netizens new dimensions to their social networking. The mobile internet in China is growing rapidly and location based services will increase user generated content, making services more interactive and fun to use,” said Wang Gaofei, VP of SINA.

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“Location and context are becoming the core elements of mobile social networking services and we are proud to partner in this area with Nokia, the leading player in the mobile industry. We believe that with Nokia’s Ovi Maps, we will offer more added value to the users of QQ Mobile Online Services, “said Liu Chengmin, president of Mobile Business, Tencent.

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SINA Corporation is a leading online media company and mobile value-added service provider for China and for the global Chinese communities.

With a branded network of localized websites targeting Greater China and overseas Chinese, SINA provides an array of services, including region-focused online portals, MVAS, social networking service (SNS), blog, audio and video streaming, album, online games, email, search, classified listings, fee-based services, e-commerce and enterprise e-solutions.

Tencent, founded in 1998, is one of China’s leading Internet services portal offering Internet value-added services, mobile and telecommunications value-added services and online advertising.

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Tencent’s leading Internet platforms in China – QQ (QQ Instant Messenger), QQ.com, QQ Games, Qzone, 3g.QQ.com, SoSo, PaiPai and Tenpay – have brought together China’s Internet community, to meet the various needs of Internet users including communication, information, entertainment, e-commerce and others.

As of Sep. 30, 2010, the active QQ user accounts for QQ IM amounted to 636.6 million while its peak simultaneous online user accounts reached 118.7 million.

Nokia released this information today, Jan. 28.

Photo courtesy: Nokia

RMN News

Rakesh Raman