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Game On: China Lifts 14-Year Ban on Video Game Consoles

Game On: China Lifts 14-Year Ban on Video Game Consoles
Image credit: China Daily

The floodgates to China's gaming market have opened with the lift of a 14-year ban on the manufacture and sale of video game consoles.

The most populous nation on earth instated the ban in 2000 for fear of corrupting its youth, but will now allow for distribution of consoles in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone -- a 29-square-kilometer testing ground for new economic reforms established last year.

News of the lift was met with cautious optimism -- particularly by three of the world's largest console creators: Sony (PlayStation), Microsoft (Xbox) and Nintendo (Wii).

Related: Many Believe China Will Soon Overtake the U.S. as World's Leading Superpower

While Nintendo shares jumped more than 10 percent in Tokyo, according to a CNN report, China's gaming market has proliferated for over a decade in the absence of consoles through the popularity of PCs, mobile devices and online gaming -- leaving questions as to whether consumers will choose to re-adapt.

Consoles and games have also long been available on China's black market.

Additionally, the government noted that the repeal was only temporary, and that foreign products -- such as the widely popular games that include explicit content and thus are currently banned in China -- will still be subject to regulatory approval. 

Related: How to Be a Gaming Entrepreneur

Geoff Weiss is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com.

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