The 13-year ban on the sale of video game consoles in China has been lifted, according to the Chinese government
The news comes on the heels of the newly established free-trade zone in Shanghai. As long as the the Ministry of Culture approves the products, companies that operate sales and production within the new trade zone will now be able to sell their products in China.
Despite the ban on consoles, an article in The Wall Street Journal pointed out that “unofficial channels” like private retail outlets have still made them available.
This week Microsoft announced a $237 million investment into a joint venture with BesTV, a Chinese TV company in order to create “family games and related services.”
The console ban emerged in 2000 as a result of concerns about the potential harm games have on the physical and mental development of children. Smartphones and other touch-enabled systems are allowed because they’re not deemed gaming devices.