China lifts ban on sale of foreign consoles
The decision by the State Council will allow the likes of Microsoft and Sony to sell to the Chinese - but it's not certain who can afford to buy their wares
Tuesday 07 January 2014
Gaming consoles can be sold in China again, after the country’s State Council announced that it had temporarily lifted a 14-year ban.
So long as the consoles are produced within Shanghai’s free trade zone, and are inspected by relevant government authorities, foreign companies such as Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft can now sell to the world’s third largest gaming market (after Japan and the USA).
China’s State Council released a statement on Monday declaring a “provisional” lifting of the ban as part of the country’s change in policy towards foreign investment.
This lifting of the ban is in no way final, and China may yet choose to reinstate it in the future. It was originally enforced to protect Chinese youth from gaming addiction and harmful content, with the country’s Ministry of Culture also banning numerous games over the years.
Titles have been deemed inappropriate for various reasons including "threatening state security, damaging the nation's glory, disturbing social order and infringing on others' legitimate rights," according to the Chinese publication Xinhua.
Rumours first surfaced in September 2013 that China was planning on lifting the ban on foreign consoles after Microsoft announced a partnership with Chinese company BesTV to explore opportunities in the region.
The international console giants are now approaching the Chinese market with trepidation.
“We are still not sure exactly what we will be able to do in Shanghai, and thereafter in Greater China,” Yasuhiro Minagawa, Nintendo’s Japan-based PR manager told Reuters.
Although China’s video game revenues grew by more than a third in 2012 to £8 billion, console manufacturers may struggle to break the PC’s market dominance.
According to data released at the 2013’s China games industry conference, PC games accounts for almost two-thirds of the market, with Browser gaming just over 15% and mobile gaming 14%.
The cost of gaming consoles may also be a deterrent, with over 70 per cent of Chinese gamers earning less monthly than the cost of an Xbox One in the UK (over £400).
Life & Style blogs
Alexander McQueen at auction: What makes a really great piece of fashion?
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
No female ejaculation, please, we’re British: a history of porn and censorship
Stressed nurses are 'forced to choose between health of patients and their own'
Pornhub: Kim Kardashian's sex tape is the most-watched porn video of all-time
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An IT Support Analyst is required to join the ...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£30 per hour: Ashdown Group: An industry leading and well established business...