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China allows foreign game consoles again

by on07 January 2014

Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo rush into new market

China's State Council has lifted a ban on selling foreign video game consoles, paving the way for firms like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo to enter a nearly $14 billion dollar market.

Foreign consoles have been banned for more than 14 years after Chinese officials worried about the mental health of gamers. However the relaxation of the law allows "foreign-invested enterprises" to make games consoles within Shanghai's free trade zone and sell them in China after inspection by cultural departments.

Illegal non-communist consoles, however, have long been available and online PC gaming remains more popular, with Internet cafes often crowded with rows upon rows of patrons. China's video game market grew 38 percent from 2012 to reach $13.74 billion in 2013, according to data released at the annual China games industry conference in December.

The ban on consoles has left PC games with almost two-thirds of the market.

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