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China’s complicated history with video games: when a ban isn’t really a ban

A cubical shop in Huaqiangbei offering legit foreign game consoles.

Earlier this week, China Daily quoted an anonymous government source — allegedly straight from the Ministry of Culture — saying China is considering lifting a 12-year-old “ban” on game consoles soon. While it’s was unclear how reliable the source was at the time, the Tokyo stock market sucked it up anyway, with Bloomberg observing a significant rise for Sony and Nintendo after the rumor was published. Then today we learned from Tech In Asia that Dongfang Daily followed up with two representatives from the Ministry of Culture, one of which said the department has never looked into lifting the ban, while the other person was more vague about the matter. But here’s the thing: game consoles were never really banned in China. Allow us to set the record straight for you.

Filed under: Gaming, Sony, Microsoft

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