China Lifts 13-Year Ban On Video Game Consoles

Foreign companies, such as Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, will be able to manufacture game consoles within Shanghai’s free-trade zone and sell them in the country.

China Lifts 13-Year Ban On Video Game Consoles
[Image: Flickr user tedeytan]

It’s been hinted at for months, but China has finally lifted its 13-year ban on video game consoles, a move that allows foreign video game companies–including Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo–to manufacture consoles within the Shanghai Free Trade Zone and sell them in the country after undergoing inspections by China’s cultural departments.

At $14 billion in revenue last year, China is the third largest video game market, according to Reuters. The country banned game consoles in 2000 over concerns of their impacts on children’s mental health. Preparing for this policy change, Microsoft partnered with Chinese company BesTV New Media Co. last year to develop family-friendly games. By loosening restrictions in Shanghai’s free-trade zone, China hopes to position the city 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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