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

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 and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Support Analyst

    £20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Managed IT Services Provid...

    Recruitment Genius: 1st / 2nd Line IT Support Engineer

    £20000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This specialist high tech compa...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Designer / Developer

    £12000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: New Full-time, Part-time and Fr...

    Recruitment Genius: Creative Web and UI Designer

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An experienced creative web and...

    Day In a Page

    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific