Chinese Internet Giant To Buy DigitalGlobe Imagery

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DigitalGlobe will supply China’s largest online community and Internet service portal, Tencent, with high-resolution satellite imagery of 350 major Chinese cities under a multiyear agreement, the Longmont, Colo-based Earth imagery services provider announced April 30.

DigitalGlobe said it will provide the imagery through China Swei, its exclusive Chinese distributor. Tencent, which provides online gaming, social networking, instant messaging and more to more than 700 million users, plans to incorporate DigitalGlobe imagery into its online mapping service.

“High-resolution satellite imagery is now a basic requirement for any online mapping portal, because it enables a very intuitive user experience,” Wang Jianyu, head of Tencent’s mapping service, said in a statement.

Tencent plans to eventually integrated the DigitalGlobe imagery “across the full range of their social media and entertainment services,” including QQ, China’s version of the microblogging service Twitter.