China Lifts Games Consoles Ban After 15 Years


China has lifted its ban on sales of video games consoles which has been in force for 15 years.

The sales ban was imposed in 2000 over concerns Chinese children would waste time playing video games.

It is being lifted to promote the industry and a new manufacturing zone in Shanghai.

Consoles manufactured in the Shanghai Free-Trade Zone will automatically be approved for sale in the rest of the country, according to a Ministry of Culture notice dated Friday.

Big-name consoles have been made in China for many years for export, with some machines inevitably finding their way on to the local black market.

Communist leaders are promoting entertainment and technology development to try and shift the world’s second-largest economy to more sustainable growth backed by domestic consumption and cleaner industries.

According to the ministry notice, the latest rules are intended to promote technology development and a “healthy and progressive” entertainment environment.

Content of games will be subject to government censorship, it said.

The trade zone was created in 2013 and allows foreign companies wider access to a number of industries, larger ownership stakes and activities that are banned elsewhere in China.

Sony and Microsoft have announced they plan to manufacture games consoles in the Shanghai zone with Chinese partners.

Sony spokesman Sousuke Kamei said: “We welcome the move.

“We remain committed to deliver fun and exciting console gaming experiences to as many Chinese users as possible.”