China to lift ban on consoles?

Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars

The PS4 and Xbox One could break through the Great Wall of China.

China could soon end its 13-year ban on home games consoles, enabling Sony and Microsoft to expand into the new territory, according to some reports.

The move could come as part of the local government's efforts to establish the “Shanghai free trade zone”, according to the South China Morning Post.

“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,” a source told the paper.

Consoles were banned by the Chinese government in 2000 following reports that videogames, especially those with violent content, could be harmful to the mental health of young people.

Sources urged the paper not to underestimate the symbolic nature of opening up the Chinese market to videogames consoles under the Shanghai free trade zone plans.

“You may think the game console is a small deal in the whole policy package for Shanghai, but it’s an interesting instance showing how China wants to open up to foreign investors,” explained the source.

 

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