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China eases restrictions on game console manufacturing

China eases restrictions on game console manufacturing

July 27, 2015 | By Alex Wawro

Last week China's Ministry of Culture lifted its ban on video game consoles being manufactured anywhere in the country outside the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, according to The Wall Street Journal.

This effectively makes it easier for Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony and other console manufacturers to make products for legal sale in China. While game consoles have been widely available (though technically illegal) to purchase in China for quite some time, China's State Council officially lifted a 13-year ban on their manufacture and sale in the country last year.

Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo each subsequently went on to launch consoles in China, but under the terms of the loosening ban they were required to manufacture all such hardware in the SFTZ and allow it to be inspected and approved by Chinese authorities.

This was part of a pilot program that the Ministry of Culture last week proclaimed a "success", and now video game console manufacturers will have an easier time of making and selling their hardware in China. It's yet unclear how this will affect China's console game market; a recent analyst report noted that legal console sales in China have been "disappointing" so far due to a lackluster game line-up and high prices on hardware.

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