China accuses Coca-Cola of misusing GPS equipment

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 14, 2013 at 12:56 am •  Published: March 14, 2013
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BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities are investigating whether Coca-Cola Co. employees improperly used location-finding technology in violation of restrictions on map-making.

Coca-Cola said Thursday it was cooperating with investigators. It said trucks for some of its bottling plants use location technology that is widely available commercially in China to improve the efficiency of deliveries.

Coca-Cola employees in the southwestern province of Yunnan were found improperly using handheld global positioning system devices, the deputy director of the national surveying agency told government radio this week.

It was one of 21 similar cases involving companies using GPS devices in Yunnan to "illegally obtain classified information," said the official, Li Pengde, according to the China National Radio website. He gave no additional details.

Beijing tightly controls map-related activities due to both national security concerns and political sensitivities about the location of its borders. Providers of map services for websites and mobile phones must obtain government licenses and locate their servers within China.

Coca-Cola said some of its trucks use "location-based customer logistics systems" to improve service and fuel efficiency.

"These customer logistics systems are broadly used for commercial application across many industries in China and worldwide," said a company statement.

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