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China To Lift Its Ban On Video Game Consoles In Free-Trade Zone

By loosening restrictions in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, the country hopes it can build the city into a global financial hub.

China To Lift Its Ban On Video Game Consoles In Free-Trade Zone
[Image: Flickr user Kari Sullivan]

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.

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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.

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

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