Chinese Government reassessing console ban – report

Monday, 28th January 2013 10:15 GMT By Dave Cook

China’s ruling bodies are said to be reassessing the country’s blanket-ban on videogame consoles, some 13 years after the ruling was first made law.

An anonymous government source is alleged to have said that the seven ministries that imposed the ban on sale and import of game consoles across China are now evaluating the legislation.

The ministry of culture source has stated, “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. 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 comes as Sony set up a base in China last year, geared towards training inductees in development practices, and as Microsoft’s Kinect has made its way into several facets of life for educational and practical applications.

Commenting on the rumour via Reuters, SCE rep Yoshiko Uchiyaman simply stated, “China [is] a promising market for our business, and we are always considering and preparing business opportunities and possibilities.”

We’ll have more on the matter as it comes.




  1. OmegaSlayer

    Cool stuff.
    Nowadays it’s stupid to not look at the impact that the Chinese market can have of any kind of business.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Dave Cook

    @1 Agree 100%

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Digital Bamboo

    Yeah, if it were lifted, it could mean millions upon millions of potential new customers, but the fact that “[they] will need approval from all parties to lift it” is less than encouraging.

    But, with the ban in place for so long, I wonder how deeply ingrained emulators already are in a PC dominated country.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. tenthousandgothsonacid

    I believe sony were muttering about the ps3 in china.

    If that got going it’d outsell the ps2 (and, therefore, all other consoles in history) in about a month…

    Ultimately does Sony care where it sells consoles ? If it carried on to the next gen and the ps4 were to stiff in the usa but clean up in china would they care – discuss…

    #4 2 years ago
  5. OmegaSlayer

    It’s also interesting to see what China will develop and export to the rest of the World.
    They have the money and potential to release a lot of blockbusters.
    My gf is fan of Chinese TV series and sometimes she forces me to watch some trailer here and there…they have really high production values.
    Nothing to envy to Western productions.
    I someway tie what China can do with the growth in Poland.
    Witcher is a big example about gaming but who’s a bit into heavy metal maybe knows the quality of Grupa13′s works

    Emerging Countries are a force to be reckoned with, they have the sane anger and will to impose themselves on the market that makes them release outstanding products.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Digital Bamboo

    @4 I don’t know if Sony would care where they sold their consoles or not, but with 300+M middle class in China, as opposed to 75+M in the US, I think a 4X bigger market may well take priority.

    China has the potential to act as a safety net for any console developer who manages to release there, a net the size of all current markets combined.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Dragon246

    Middle class in US and in China don’t have same definition.
    Also, chinese market is even remotely as big as some people are thinking here, its basically a poor country right now like India, although it definitely requires attention. Cheaper games can do the trick .

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Da Man

    #5 Wtf does this have to do with videogames development?

    #8 2 years ago
  9. OmegaSlayer

    @8That China is a rising economy and if they start to invest on game development it will probably do great things, just like Poland is doing.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Digital Bamboo

    @7 You’re quite right, most of China is poor, and the difference in yearly earnings between US & China’s middle classes is significant–but it still translates to a few thousand dollars of disposable income a year for many urban middle class Chinese households, enough to get into console gaming. But yeah, the vast majority, rural population, no way.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. NeoSquall

    Inb4 Chinese “Red Games” made so you can use the Kinect to march in a virtual Tiananmen :D

    #11 2 years ago
  12. fuchikoma

    I’ve never been clear on how this ban worked to be honest. A friend of mine came over from British Hong Kong in 1989 and was already a Nintendo addict. He brought a Chinese 110 in 1 cart over as well. Clearly sale is not banned, even if import is – Nintendo licensed the iQue player in China officially and went on to license the GBA, DS, DSi, and 3DS families of products through iQue. Also, Hong Kong/Guangdong region has traditionally been a hotbed of game console accessories and pirate game goods, so just how illegal is it over there? Maybe it’s like South Korea, where it’s just difficult to import foreign-made consoles?

    #12 2 years ago

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