China lifts 14-year old ban on video game consoles

Dieter Holger

TS Booster

China is removing a 14-year old ban on selling and manufacturing video game consoles, allowing console makers such as Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo to enter a huge untapped gaming market. The ban was issued in 2000 by the Chinese Ministry of Culture to "protect the youth" of the tightly controlled communist nation, but apparently since last year the ministry no longer views video game consoles as threatening.

Last year the restrictions were relaxed and the Xbox, PlayStation and Wii consoles, among others, could be bought in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, a small 120 square kilometre free-market region that the country uses as a testing ground for economic and social reforms.

Because gaming consoles have been hard to come by, Chinese gamers typically play games on computers and mobile devices.

News of the ban suspension has been welcomed by Chinese gaming enthusiasts and the video game industry. The Chinese gaming market presents billions of dollars in opportunity for a console gaming industry that faces stiff competition from the popularity of mobile gaming. While the ban was in place, China's gaming market was estimated to be worth $22.2 billion primarily from mobile and PC Gaming, according to research firm Newzoo BV.

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TS Evangelist
This will only last until a few crackpots go crazy and try slaughter all & sundry then games will once again be the scapegoat... bang goes gaming, slap on the ban once again. I mean they have to blame something, don't they, and games tend to be the perfect foil, not society itself.
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When gaming cafes were introduced some teens went batshit cray gaming and surfing the net there. Instead of banning it, they enforced an ID policy of 18+ only. Dunno if that still is true today though. So even if people go nuts over it, they would just simply limit sales etc. as opposed to rebanning it.

Also games consoles did exist in China before this, quite a number of DS users existed and there were XBoxs/PS4s etc. It's just that now its officiated. So I doubt people will go batshit cray. Especially because gaming is expensive as hell there. A DS cost around double what it does in the UK and States just last year in Shanghai.