China temporarily lifts ban on sale of foreign games consoles
BEIJING (REUTERS) - - China's State Council said it has temporarily lifted a ban on selling foreign video game consoles, paving the way for firms like Sony Corp, Microsoft Corp and Nintendo Co Ltd to enter a nearly US$14 billion (S$18 billion) dollar market.
The suspension of the 14-year-old ban permits "foreign-invested enterprises" to make games consoles within Shanghai's free trade zone and sell them in China after inspection by cultural departments, the government said in a statement posted on its website on Monday.
China banned gaming consoles in 2000, citing their adverse effect on the mental health of its youth. Consoles, however, have long been available albeit illegally, but online PC gaming remains more popular, with Internet cafes often crowded with rows upon rows of patrons.
The State Council did not say how long the suspension would last. It also did not specify the requirements for a foreign-invested enterprise.