GPS - China policy on use by foreigners

My camera has a built-in GPS. The manual states that certain counties do not permit foreigners to use GPS functions. Does China?

The GPS function can be turned off, but the camera itself is stamped GPS on the top. Will China customs confiscated my camera?

Back in 2009 or aobut that time there were a couple of cases where foreigners were accused of illegal surveying and mapping in China. The accused were arrested and expelled. Foreigners' use of GPS in China seems to be a gray area. Numerous visitors have 3G phones with positioning function and many of them use navigation systems to get around. We haven't heard the cases where foreigners got into troubles for such actions. Not sure about GPS-enabled cameras, but the customs are not confiscating people's 3G phones.

So it seems the thing is whether you're indeed doing some kind of surveying or mapping or you're just trying to find your way. In major cities you should be all right with 3G phones etc. If you're out there in some remote areas with your GPS-equipped devices, you may be suspected of surveying or mapping, especially if you're in some sensitive areas. 

Here is an article that says that the Chinese government requires that foreigners turn off the GPS function on their cameras when visiting ( There, however, does not seem to be any practical way to enforce the rule.

Thanks for your excellent answer. I plan to take the camera with the GPS turned off. If I experience any problem, I'll post it on my return.

Good luck with your trip!