Foreign game console ban to be lifted

Updated: 2013-07-12 02:47

By SHEN JINGTING (China Daily)

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Companies would have to register in Shanghai's FTZ for eligibility

Sources from China's Ministry of Culture confirmed on Thursday that the country is about to allow foreign game console companies to sell products in China if they register in Shanghai's new free trade zone, but denied lifting a decade-long ban on the video game hardware market in the country anytime soon.

Foreign game console ban to be lifted

An attendee plays the Xbox One game LocoCycle at the E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) in Los Angeles on June 12. Major game console vendors across the world made several attempts but failed to find a way to enter the Chinese mainland market officially. PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Two officials from the ministry confirmed the accuracy of a South China Morning Post report. The story, which was published on Wednesday, quoted sources that if foreign companies agreed to register in the new free trade zone in Shanghai, they would be allowed to promote and sell their products on the Chinese mainland.

But before they start selling, foreign gaming companies have to seek approval for specific products from related regulators because the Chinese government wants to make sure the content is not too violent or politically sensitive, the SCMP report said.

"The detailed information (on foreign game console companies' entry into China) is incorporated in the policy package for Shanghai's free trade zone," an official with the Ministry of Culture told China Daily on condition of anonymity However, the Chinese government has yet to officially release the complete documents.

On July 3, the State Council, China's cabinet, approved Shanghai's free trade zone. It will cover 28 square kilometers and act as an experiment for deepening reform and opening-up.

"We will track the progress made in this Shanghai pilot program. No one doubts that Shanghai's performance will determine our future moves," the ministry source said. The source denied the Shanghai trial is a hint about the lifting of China's ban on video game hardware. "The ban