China lifts 13-year console ban

Nation to end ban on sale of game consoles as part of establishment of new free-trade zone in Shanghai.

Confirming earlier reports, the Chinese government has announced that it will end the 13-year ban on the sale of video game consoles in the country.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the news was announced today by the country's high-ranking State Council as part of the establishment of a new free-trade zone in Shanghai.

Foreign companies that operate sales and production within the new trade zone will be able to sell products throughout China, so long as they are approved by the Ministry of Culture.

Though consoles are officially banned in China, The Wall Street Journal points out that they have been readily available through "unofficial channels" like private retail outlets in malls.

The news comes after Microsoft announced this week an investment of $237 million into a joint venture with Chinese TV company BesTV in the free-trade zone to create "family games and related services."

China enacted the console ban in 2000, blocking the sale of systems over concerns about potential harm to the physical and mental development of children. Touch-enabled devices and smartphones, like the iPhone and iPad, are allowed because they are not deemed gaming devices.

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Discussion

402 comments
DigiRave
DigiRave

Made in China..... but not for use in China. LOL

daddygravy69
daddygravy69

the land of pirated consoles had a console ban for 14 years???

china the land of ultimate hypocrisy... 

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

so thats another sony and ninty territory. i wonder how well they would do selling there?

registeredpunk
registeredpunk

Oh this is will be the end to XBO. Sony and Nintendo will dominate that are because of culture contrast.

BadMrSnake
BadMrSnake

Just in time for the Xbox 1 to take over!

rulo90
rulo90

i bet if china's team doesnt win the competition the ban will come back into effect.

slainta
slainta

I project an huge drop on PC SW sales...

ShadowOfKratos
ShadowOfKratos

"Touch-enabled devices and smartphones, like the iPhone and iPad, are allowed because they are not deemed gaming devices."

-_-'

ZeroFallout1
ZeroFallout1

China is money hungry but I can't fault the country. Their economy is rising while most are stagnating or declining.Now let's see if that can overcome the animosity between them and Japan.

AwkwardTurtle42
AwkwardTurtle42

If this turns out well then people in China will have a lot of catching up to do. There have been so many great games in those 13 years.

Richie_Kotzev
Richie_Kotzev

this is indeed good news.  bigger market allowing the industry to make more money, therefore investing more. also, it will increase their budget, so maybe, just a big MAYBE, games might become cheaper worldwide. and personally, I won't need to cross the border to hong kong just to buy consoles anymore.

tightwad34
tightwad34

China blocked console sales because they want full control of their country, not because they were concerned it would affect children in a negative way. They already have a population control law in place and their history of properly treating humans would tell me otherwise.

BestJinjo
BestJinjo

This is great. A new market for selling consoles will mean more profits to developers and console markers. More profits in the gaming industry will allow the gaming industry to thrive even more. This is a very positive development. 

vackillers
vackillers

Again who gives a shit... why is this in the PC SECTION???? keep this limited to the console sections please.... otherwise dont even bother splitting up the website into different platforms if your just going to mix and match all and info/articles together... its stupid........

JaxxRaxor
JaxxRaxor

Considering how popular Free to play MMOs are in China, and that I've seen a lot of stories of people in China being addicted to these games and suffering negative health effects, I find it rather odd that China had this console ban in the first place. I guess they finally came to their senses that a total ban was a waste of time.

ImSofaKingGood
ImSofaKingGood

lol they're gonna see Battlefield 4 with China as an enemy.  Bet they're gonna make a big stink about it.  This gon' be gud *popcorn*.

dashboardman
dashboardman

At last...but then again i live in Europe...so in that case...WHO GIVES A SHIT!!!

iampenguin
iampenguin

Ah, democracy it tastes so good.

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

And china is stupid... End of discussion.  Wish these morons would hurry up and just lock themselves in their country close the walls to ouitsiders and be done with it so we don't have to tolerate their bullshit anymore.  And for that matter the US needs to stop outsourcing work to these morons as well. 


And not more chinese game farming can commence god damit I just realized that *facepalm* 

cws3e
cws3e

@registeredpunk Actually China likes everything USA, from booze to smokes to cars.  They see it as rich and fancy.  China really hates Japan.

Go to China sometime, see for youself.

leviathanwing
leviathanwing

@ZeroFallout1 theyre still fighting over some desolate islands... mostly trying to show their muscles militarily and 1up the japanese for some sort of 'victory'.

cws3e
cws3e

@Simplythebest12 China is run by a 'party' not just one man so it isn't a dictatorship, and they are really more capatalist than communist.  THey are still oppresive in the human rights areas however.

robchiang1990
robchiang1990

@Richie_Kotzev Oh, I forget that we can always choose to pirate in mainland China(though I personally choose not to).

robchiang1990
robchiang1990

@Richie_Kotzev I'm sure the library will be limited and if region-lock is no more, you still need to import awesome but violent games(which is basically every good AAA game right now) from Hong Kong, pengyou.

DESTROYRS_F8
DESTROYRS_F8

@tightwad34 yet they weren't in control when blizzard introduced their franchises.  They had a company (sweat shop) strictly for Diablo 2 farming items and weapons to auction online.

leviathanwing
leviathanwing

@vackillers its in the news section because its news about games.  i do believe pc games count as games or am i missing something here?  also it was your choice to waste your time... or is that someone else fault once again?

leviathanwing
leviathanwing

@JaxxRaxor no, its a pure money thing.  it has nothing to do with sense and logic so much as dollar signs.

Jaxith
Jaxith

@dashboardman  One of the most populous countries in the world is lifting a longstanding ban on a significant facet of public entertainment, but you're right.  This is really all about you.

sevencowsmoo
sevencowsmoo

@xeoneex66 "US needs to stop outsourcing work to [China]."
Ha. Haha. Ahahahahaha. Have fun not being able to afford anything, ever again.

suprastaruk
suprastaruk

@xeoneex66 They seem like a pretty insecure country. Banning consoles cos they are scared their youth would be corrupted or something? Blocking outside social media such as facebook, twitter, youtube etc. Cos what? They are scared to hear and see what people really say and what they think? .

DESTROYRS_F8
DESTROYRS_F8

@leviathanwing @ZeroFallout1 China is also fighting with Philippines over the Spratly Islands.

Richie_Kotzev
Richie_Kotzev

@robchiang1990 @Richie_Kotzev  I don't think that mainland would censor games, because that would cool down the market, and maybe they just don't care about it, since they're already too busy censoring the internet, sure we can pirate, I personally also don't pirate, not because of ethics or anything like that. I just think that it sucks to go somewhere and buy 10 games for 200kuai. I like to enjoy them slowly. besides everything, we have taobao, so no worries ;-)

tightwad34
tightwad34

@DESTROYRS_F8 Hm, I don't remember that but I wouldn't be surprised as China is in some sort of cahoots with Blizzard.

vackillers
vackillers

@leviathanwing @vackillers of course... but it says "Console" ban... not PC Ban.. this is about the ban on consoles... has absolutely nothing to do with the PC or the PC section... I will always look a news.... but it needs to be in the proper appropriate place..... this has no business being in the PC section of this website..... like so many other "news" pieces that are console news being loaded into the PC section.... just tired of seeing it here when it shouldn't be... is it REALLY that difficult to have appropriate news in the appropriate sections? REALLY? you gonna give me shit for stating an opinion in this matter? really?

chineseyagami
chineseyagami

@suprastaruk @xeoneex66 its simply their reaction when they realized how fucked up Americans are. like a parents tryin to protect their children. and hey they grew strong because of it. being embargoed doesn't stop China thriving up.

robchiang1990
robchiang1990

@Richie_Kotzev @robchiang1990 Of cource they can censor both game and internet. Even used Steam? The mainland server for Steam has a limited library excluding anything from Take-two(2K and Rockstar) except for the good old Civ 3. And by "import"  I do mean buying through taobao. I've never applied for passage to Hong Kong but I've been buying 360 games from Hong Kong for almost 5 years all thanks to taobao.