China To Lift Ban On Sale Of Video Game Consoles: Reports

In what could be good news for the likes of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, China is moving to repeal a 13-year ban on the sale of video game consoles within the country. The news came in a set of rules issued by the State Council today with regard to the new free-trade zone in Shanghai. Foreign companies will be able to sell their products throughout China if the companies operate sales and production within the zone, The Wall Street Journal said. Each device, however, will have to be approved by the Culture Ministry. The relaxation of the ban comes a few days after reports that Microsoft was partnering with Chinese internet TV company BesTV to develop family games and related services. The Journal points out that consoles have long been available in China through “unofficial channels”, but that players prefer gaming on computers and phones. Consoles were initially banned in 2000 over concern that gaming would harm young people. No timeline has been set for consoles to reenter the market.

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