Restrictions on selling GIS software technology into China


We sell Geospatial software technology and have an enquiry from a Chinese company wishing to purchase our SDK software.

We are concerned about protection of IP as well as implications of selling this type of technology which can be used to develop military systems such as Command and Control, Simulation environments etc.


Good Morning

This document might help

One thing you must consider is that some parts of the world, some members of society consider it not in their best interests as a whole to protect IP rights because it holds back their nations developmental progress. There have been various agreements between countries ( ) that aimed to rectify this. But in general you are right to be concerned. However as a country becomes more developed and produces more of its own intellectual property it will become more concerned with protection.

I would never give away source code and use something like dotfuscator ( ) or better before allowing your software to cross international borders.

I hope this helps

Graham Bedford
IT Manager
Jenkar Shipping Ltd


Hi Alan
you can find the official updated restrictions on
Since you know the specification of the products my advice would be to contact the government agency directly.

You are also wise to think about IP.If you don’t know this company it could sound risky.

But on the other hand if it is a serious business opportunity for you and therefore worth a decent amount of money, then its always worth investing time and money in visiting and getting to know them and what they do. Which other companies in the west do they deal with? Are there any other people you can ask that know them and what they do? You should not hesitate to ask them for more information and references. Just as in other sectors distributors or manufacturers ask each other about credit ratings for potential customers.



Suggest you apply for an export licence using the SPIRE online export licensing systems:

Aidan Steer
Export Control Organisation
Department for Business

Export Action Plan