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China Taking Steps to Remove Ban on Video Game Consoles


Jack Gardner

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After 14 years, China's Ministry of Culture is drafting new rules regarding video game consoles. Surely Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo are salivating at the thought of an untapped market valued at an estimated $10 billion.

 

As of right now, the ban has only been lifted in the free-trade zone of Shanghai. Bloomberg reports that Cai Wu, who heads the Ministry of Culture, will be in charge of writing up new regulations that will be imposed when the ban is fully lifted. The restriction of consoles was put in place in 2000 as a counter-measure against the influence of non-Chinese culture.

 

"Things that are hostile to China, or not in conformity with the outlook of China’s government, won’t be allowed," stated Cai at a press conference earlier today, “We want to open the window a crack to get some fresh air, but we still need a screen to block the flies and mosquitoes."

 

Cai Wu has been operating the Ministry of Culture since 2008 and has relatively moderate views regarding control of the arts. His general stance seems to favor a degree of deregulation of commercial artistic enterprises, which includes video games.

 

While none of the major console manufacturers have announced specific plans for console releases in mainland China, Microsoft has made a $79 million partnership with a Shanghai organization to bring a degree of business to the free-trade zone.

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