China to end console ban - Report

New report claims country may end 13-year ban on sale of game consoles if they are made in Shanghai's new free-trade zone and approved by "culture-related authorities."

According to a new report from the South China Morning Post, China may end its 13-year ban on the sale of game consoles, provided the systems are made in Shanghai's new free-trade zone.

According to Chinese government documents, foreign console manufacturers like Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft would also need approval from "culture-related authorities" to promote and sell their products in the country.

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.

"They still need approval from the culture ministry and other relevant government bodies for their products, which I think is reasonable, because the government wants to make sure the content of your games is not too violent or politically sensitive for young people," one source said.

Some consoles are available in China through black market sources, while touch-enabled devices and smartphones, like the iPhone and iPad, are allowed because they are not deemed gaming devices.

A Microsoft representative told GameSpot, "We are always evaluating how and where to expand Xbox availability to other parts of the world, but have no additional comment at this time." Representatives for Sony and Nintendo were not immediately available to comment.

The state-run China Daily reported at the end of January that the country's Ministry of Culture was holding discussions to consider ending the ban. The new Shanghai free-trade zone is endorsed by Premier Li Keqiang, who is reportedly interested in making the Chinese economy more open and available to the world at large.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
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368 comments
GH05T-666
GH05T-666

 great now we will get more counterfeit consoles and handhelds being sold

novak2k6
novak2k6

lol "not too violent or politically sensitive" well that takes out half the games.

amdreallyfast
amdreallyfast

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

gowofwarKratos
gowofwarKratos

I live in China now and I can buy any kind of game or console.I would not call “black market” a store that sell video games and games inside huge shoppings. Plus everything else is made here. Some deals are much better then any shop in US so I even do not care in buying copy while I can get a good original stuff. Baned is only for official Advertisement, but I agree that with the end of it, many other indie games could come which is a good thing. They are not stupid also, they know that video games can bring much more development too. 

G1ingy
G1ingy

I was curious how fast this would devolve into racism and anti-chinese sentiments.

Kyere
Kyere

The P.R.C. is only doing this because with the increasing popularity of console gaming/video games in general, they don't want to be seen as a politically repressive and backwards authority. So their idea is to dump local manufacturing of it in a free trade zone i.e. an area where private ownership/public enterprises are tolerated (Shanghai in this scenario) and produce it for local dissemination. I imagine the politburo also figures they can then export surplus manufacturing capabilities and start up another export-related industry. You know, to cover the fact their GDP has stopped growing. It's becoming harder to find jobs in urban settings and their currency is beginning to inflate due to the fact that they've been playing with the world's economy via their short-sighted, artificially imposed measures at intentionally keeping the worth of their currency low (which shot up the Euro and deflated the U.S.D.). So as to attract businesses and major manufacturers to China for said export-reliant industry. Turns out? There are cheaper, and less problematic countries to have your factories churning out crap from.

So, as you can see, the P.R..C. is going to begin a process of loosening restrictions on numerous areas to alleviate the fact that their newly "selected" government has no idea how to handle this "unforseen" turn of events nor the emergence of political groupings within the C.C.P. I also love how they have to "culturally approve" the titles for dissemination. Can't have crazy western ideas corrupting their peeps! Oh China.

DaSlyOne
DaSlyOne

Ha! Of course they want to end the ban - what better way to get a microphone and camera into every home?

jknight5422
jknight5422

It would be useful if America also demanded jobs and manufacturing plants to be in America in order for Americans to purchase said foreign product.  Why aren't we doing this?

paytonlow
paytonlow

Well, please let me tell you the cold hard truth:

1. Gaming isn't totally banned here - PC gaming is largely left alone, especially the online gaming market. (A market dominated by Chinese local companies, e.g. Tencent) Why? Because they made good taxes for the government. Console games were/are mostly made by  foreign companies outside China, though Ubi  and most major publishers have outsourced some coding works to Shanghai. However, other than sales tax, not much else can be charged if games are going to be sold here.

2. Classification does NOT exsit in all China entertainment industries. This means new game release is audited by unknown groups of people, the checking progress can last more than 6 months and more. If they find anything slightly out of their tastes your game is doomed and banned from release. In addition, you may never know the standards for not to get banned. Sony tried with PS2 (a China only version, region locked) and Nintendo tried with N64 (called iQue here) & NDS (called iDS here) around 2000, they both failed miserably. By the time they got Chinese version games released from lengthy content checks, the gamers have already played these games by all possible unofficial ways.

3. Piracy. Nobody cares about copyright here, and the government don't really mind such things. Occasionally, you might get news about cracking down piracy movements. Well, it's just a show for the US or EU when they tried to press China on the issue.

4. In the end, it doesn't hurt us core gamers here, cause we can buy games and consoles in Hong Kong.


Ironically, all consoles were made in China. I laughed painfully every time when I see that hard printed 3 words at the back of my console(s)...






MS08TEAM
MS08TEAM

I don't think it will work in China.Since 2000 the game console has been baned in China.And China doesn't have any Game Grading .All of 18+ game are forbidden in China.And all of Game contain Violence,Sexy,Bloody will be Cut by Developers to pass Chinese Government‘s Check.For example,Star craft 2 blood has been replayced by Oil. 

My english isn't good, please forgive me. :)  

hippiesanta
hippiesanta

Sony is winning if this ban ends in china..... Microsoft are not expert in eastern market

tightwad34
tightwad34

It's gotta be a good thing to have another 1+ billion potential customers. Even though it will probably take a while before they will allow anything considered influential, which a lot of games have. If this happens it should only be a good thing.

toyo75
toyo75

Now that the ban is lifted, its citizens can enjoy playing made in China pirated games on their consoles ^_^

Kane04
Kane04

And approved by "culture-related authorities."

Why don't they just ban communism?

orthodox1976
orthodox1976

I must admit that I did not know that China had a ban on game systems.

Maybe we'll start getting some good console titles from out there now as devs start to make games for them? I would like to see that.

profanityVP
profanityVP

americans need to get off your high horse, and stop judging another country's value's especially since yours is one that treats pornstars like celebrities, self proclaimed crack dealers as pop stars and role models, and out of control gun crime..

fix your own shit before judging china's government.

steelmouth
steelmouth

this is great news a one billion strong virgin market is just about to open, both Sony and MS will start on a level base with no clear favourite, I think , but the problem I see with China is that the Chinese are pro-pirate they very happy with their excessively cheap pirated products and that's one hard mentality to change

Kyere
Kyere

Now the ball's in the court of the three big players (Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft). Is it really worth the trouble and cost of setting up shop in China only to have your work be "approved" for mass consumption at the end of the day?

Kyere
Kyere

@jknight5422 Because your games would be more expensive to cover manufacturing costs in the U.S.

baka78
baka78

@hippiesanta Realy ? I thought Nintendo with its large family game catalog would come on top.

yghjkl
yghjkl

bro

do you even communism

seriously read about what communism actually is before acting like an idiot. (hint: it involves the abolition of the state)

phroido
phroido

@Kane04They tried that. Ever hear of tiananmen square? If you live in China your internet is blocked so that you can not look it up.

tightwad34
tightwad34

@orthodox1976 They could definitely come with some good games, but as regulated as China is especially for something like video games, I don't think they will be coming out with something even close to what most of us would want. At least for a while.

OOLuigiOo
OOLuigiOo

@profanityVP Don't care. Got nothing to do with government. Evil is everywhere so i speak freely.

CHina's government is crap.

OldKye
OldKye

@profanityVP Tell me have you been there? since your posting online like this you can't possible be a normal Citizen living there.

Why is it wrong for me to care about the horrible treatment of billions of people again?

OldKye
OldKye

@steelmouth You do know the government will require some kind of like 50% cut of profits or something there may not be as much money to be made off the number of people as you think.

SpYkz101
SpYkz101

@Kyere Australia and South Africa already have flim and publication boards that approve games so what difference would it make if China does the same?

SpYkz101
SpYkz101

@smashthejews Number 1 in what? Largest army? no, Biggest manufacturing capacity? No, Largest land area? No. What are you number 1 in?

yghjkl
yghjkl

actually you can easily post here if you are in china, like I am right now. and lol @ horrible treatment, are you an actual citizen of china?

orthodox1976
orthodox1976

@Blood_Angel I'm guessing that M$ would have to agree to let the Chinese government control the servers that the Sauron's Eye leads to? A China-only Xbox Live? 

I'm just guessing. I have no idea how that would work.


Or maybe M$ is hoping that some high-ranking Chinese government official will dig Halo V and then the USA can spy on him? LOL

smashthejews
smashthejews

there's plenty, but since you are ignorant I will give you an ignorant answer: we are number one at destroying countries & shit people like you who dare raise arms against us. number one at using nuclear weapons to destroy scum like you, number one at killing...plain & simple. now take a hike and get back to imitating Americna culture in every way like the rest of the world...i bet you're a coward candian or chinese rat.

OldKye
OldKye

@yghjkl Since you clearly speak English better then most people in america are you? lol getting tired of people lying about being from there just to argue.

OldKye
OldKye

@profanityVP Yes it is a problem sometimes it's called "Paternalism" it's basically the view that you have to take away power from others "for their own good" or the thought that they can't do it themselves.

It's can be a driving force in a lot of decisions and can cause more problems then it fixes but it's also not a universal believe here.

I agree comments like that are not helping anything.

profanityVP
profanityVP

@OldKye i agree with you definetely. criticism is good as it raises debate and talks, but my original comment is directed at those ignorant comments simply bashing china,  like fuck china, or how typical, 


OldKye
OldKye

@profanityVP I don't Think everything the american government does is right, I hate the idea that we often play "world police" some times at the cost of our own citizens life's.

That doesn't mean I can't be against things that wrong people both in and out of my country.

If you care about the people in china I'm all for that, if you want things to be better in america you can tell people here that it's one of the things we value.

And that right to speak against our government or anyone else's is something I will not be quick to let anyone take away.

profanityVP
profanityVP

@OldKye i admit i am wrong about the fact on ownership, still my point stands as people in america shouldnt judge and hate on china because the american government is doing a terrible job in the same areas as well,, 


you can go on believing the american government cares for you, and thus giving you that righteous sense to judge other nations, i wont... 



OldKye
OldKye

@profanityVP "China's company's" 

"After 1949, all business entities in the People's Republic of China were created and owned by the government. In the late 1980s, the government began to reform the state-owned enterprise, and during the 1990s and 2000s, many mid-sized and small sized state-owned enterprises were privatized and went public. There are a number of different corporate forms which result in a mixture of public and private capital. In PRC terminology, a state-owned enterprise refers to a particular corporate form, which is increasingly being replaced by the listed company. State-owned enterprises are governed by both local governments and, in the central government, the national State-owned assests Supervision and Administration Commission. As of 2011, 35% of business activity and 43% of profits in the People's Republic of China resulted from companies in which the state owned a majority interest. Liberal critics, such as The New York Times, allege that China's state-owned companies are a vehicle for corruption by the families of ruling party leaders who have sometimes amassed fortunes while managing them."

Hate to break it to you chief but most of your "sweat shops" are owned by the government not america or anyone else and guess what the ones that are have been ok'ed by the government.

Where as your idea that the american government endorses pop culture is some that happens guess where? "only in china" you see in america they can't control it.

You haven't the slightest idea of what your talking about and now I believe you were lying about having lived in China I doubt you have even been there. The only thing you have managed is to lie just as much as china did with this ban.

OldKye
OldKye

@profanityVP China's corporations are owned by China lol and yes I'm sure Lady gaga was all Obama's doing just like the magic bullet that killed JFK.

Your not winning any argument with fact less baseless accusations.

Edit: let me add what you ask as well how does lady gaga's looks in america have anything to do with the protection of china's children lol?

OldKye
OldKye

@profanityVP The government in america doesn't advertise strippers to children last I checked I would suggest more reading before such broad statement's.

And how is Seat-belts irreverent? it's important to grow up well but we don't care if you die on the way to growing up? Why is there a nuclear power plant within Beijing city limits? Why was the air pollution allowed to get 30x what is considered deadly in major city's?

This is a lie a bold faced lie and nothing else they don't care that the child grows up "well" they care that he grows up in support of the current government so what if he dies.

The fact that the people still manage to teach their children good moral values and respect and raise them well is a testament to the people of china and their parenting not the government.

Please don't mix the two.

OldKye
OldKye

@profanityVP @OldKye So I'm a idiot because I care about people in other country's as equals and don't agree with everything going on in mine?

Oh boy I can feel the support flocking to your side already since you lived their I'm sure you realized as a English speaking temporary resident from another country you have more access to the internet then someone who's not.

Or was the "friendly" welcome enough to pull the wool over your eyes? tell me why would a country so dedicated to children s mental health not require seat-belts in cars to protect them?