In another sign of China opening up, the country is moving to lift a 13-year ban on the production and sale of video game consoles in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone. Earlier this week, it was reported that China was opening access to Facebook, Twitter, and the New York Times within the special economic area as well.
China banned game consoles in 2000 over concerns of their impact on children. With this proposed policy change, Microsoft has partnered with BesTV New Media Co., a subsidiary of Shanghai Media Group, to form a $79 million venture in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone to design and develop “family games and services,” which will have to pass content inspections by the country’s cultural authorities. China hopes that by loosening restrictions in this economic zone, which is subject to different governing rules, it can heighten Shanghai’s profile as a global financial hub.