China partially lifts 12-year old foreign gaming console ban
An official of Chinese Ministry of Culture has confirmed that the government has partially lifted the 12-year old ban on gaming consoles under which foreign companies will be able to sell their wares under the condition that they setup shop in Shanghai’s free trade zone.
China Daily reported the development after confirming the news through two government officials. The officials said that foreign gaming console makers would be required to get approval from the government for the specific gaming console models they intend to sell within the country. The regulatory approval would ensure that the content is not “overly violent and politically sensitive.” China is yet to reveal the policies that would govern entry of foreign game console makers into the walled country said one of the sources.
The ban dates back to 2000 and was imposed on manufacturing, sale, and import of game consoles in China following concerns that gaming content may be harmful and may hamper physical and mental development of country’s young population.
A free trade zone covering an area of 28 square kilometers in Shanghai was approved by China’s State Council earlier this month. The free trade zone may very well become the testbed that would fuel China’s efforts for economic reforms.
“We will track the progress made in this Shanghai pilot program. No one doubts Shanghai’s performance will determine our future moves,” the government official told China Daily. However, the source stressed that this doesn’t mean that the ban has been lifted.