Shanghai’s fancy new Free Trade Zone may not be bringing internet freedom, but it has already shaken some of the country’s technological restrictions; numerous sources are reporting that the start of Shanghai’s FTZ has led the national government to lift its 13-year-old (although only occasionally enforced) ban on video game consoles.
As the South China Morning Post reports, lifting the ban doesn’t quite mean that Chinese gamers will be allowed unfettered access to the latest titles:
China is expected to soon end a 13-year ban on the sale of gaming consoles with only one key condition: foreign firms like Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft must make their products in Shanghai’s new free trade zone. […]
Chinese-language government documents on the policy package said that if foreign companies agreed to register in the new free trade zone in Shanghai, they would be allowed to promote and sell their products in the domestic mainland market after seeking approval for specific products from “culture-related authorities”, the sources who reviewed the documents told the South China Morning Post on Wednesday.
“They still need approval from the culture ministry and other relevant government bodies for their products, which I think is reasonable, because the government wants to make sure the content of your games is not too violent or politically sensitive for young people,” said one of the sources. The sources declined to be named before an official announcement is made about the new rules for Shanghai’s free trade zone
If the ban is truly lifted, it may only be a matter of time before Chinese gamers—who, with an abundance of unregulated tech markets, weren’t exactly out of the loop—can play wonderful new titles like our previously mentioned “Whore of the Orient.”
[Image via Flickr]