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China ‘could end 12-year game console ban’

Chinese authorities are said to be reviewing a 12-year ban on game consoles in the country.

Seven Chinese ministries collectively banned the manufacture, sale and import of game consoles in 2000 due to fears over their potentially harmful impact on youth development, but an unnamed government source reportedly told China Daily that the law could be changed.

"We are reviewing the policy and have conducted some surveys and held discussions with other ministries on the possibility of opening up the game console market," they said. "However, since the ban was issued by seven ministries more than a decade ago, we will need approval from all parties to lift it.”

It has been speculated that, having already sensed a softening of the government's attitude towards game consoles, some of the markets key players are readying themselves for a rapid response to any policy change. Last June Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) set up a training, research and development arm in South China, and in November PS3 received a quality certification from a Chinese safety standards body. While the PlayStation firm wouldn’t comment directly on today’s report, SCE spokeswoman Yoshiko Uchiyama told Sky: "Our stance towards business in China has not changed. Of course, we acknowledge China as a promising market for our business, and we are always considering and preparing business opportunities and possibilities (in the country)."

Microsoft introduced Kinect to the Chinese mainland in October, although the product is only currently being used for non-gaming purposes such as medical treatment and education. However, Zhang Yaqin, chairman of the Microsoft Asia-Pacific Research and Development Group, has said the company hopes to launch Xbox in China “as soon as possible".

Shares in Sony and Nintendo climbed following the publication of the China Daily report. According to Bloomberg, the PlayStation firm’s shares jumped 9.1 per cent in Tokyo trading to 1,407 yen, the highest since April 2012, while the Wii U maker’s rose 3.4 per cent to 9,630 yen in Osaka, the highest since December 7.

Topics

government

5 comments

  • Nefurnest - January 29, 2013 8:42 p.m.

    Living in Shanghai, I could easily find games in the 'black' computer market. It's not enforce, this law. You can easily get legit copies of games in China everywhere. There's too many damn gamers and demands to stop it. It's a realtively dumb law to improve students sudies, as there's so many damn Chinese MMo's to turn to. I'd be happy to buy games in a mall, rather then hiking down to the black market. I usually just get my games on the chinese version of Amazon, taobao.com.
  • TheDudeFromNowhere - January 29, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    There was a 12 year ban!? I need to catch up on world news lol.
  • alex-roy-bristol - January 29, 2013 7:33 a.m.

    And yet when you look at who's online while playing Halo 3... Well, no one anymore, but China used to have QUITE a bit for a banned game/console/usage of the internets... :O
  • KA87 - January 29, 2013 7:25 a.m.

    This is a "Great Leap Forward" for China.
  • SpadesSlick - January 28, 2013 3:37 p.m.

    Finally! The Chinese will be able to enjoy the fruits of the labor of their exploited workers just like we are! Or the chinese will just continue to pirate everything as they are want to do.

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