China lifts ban on sale of foreign gaming consoles

China's State Council has temporarily lifted a 14-year old ban on the sale of foreign computer-gaming devices, opening the way for Microsoft (MSFT), Sony (SNE) and Nintendo (NTDOF) to enter a market that was worth almost $14B in 2013.

"Foreign-invested enterprises" will be allowed to sell machines made in Shanghai's new free trade zone.

However, Nintendo expressed skepticism at the ruling, saying it's not much different from when China's government said in September that it planned to relax the ban. "This just means one step of the process has been taken," Nintendo said.

Foreign consoles have long been sold illegally in China, although online PC gaming is more popular.

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Comments (7)
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (7745) | Send Message
    Isn't this basically the same news as in late 2013 or even early 2013 when China started discussing a change in regulation:



    Iirc this still doesn't allow for sales outside of the Shanghai region, correct? Per this BBC report the Shanghai zone is only 11 sq miles:



    China is bigger than that :)


    The big news for revenue will only come when consoles are allowed in the entire country...especially Nintendo could do well.


    That may take some time.
    7 Jan 2014, 04:24 AM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (7745) | Send Message
    Correction, it's apparently only about making the console in the zone, can be sold anywhere once regulations are passed:


    "The suspension of the 14-year-old ban permits "foreign-invested enterprises" to make games consoles within Shanghai's free trade zone and sell them in China after inspection by cultural departments, the government said in a statement posted on its website on Monday."





    The article here on SA stated "selling" in the zone, big difference.
    7 Jan 2014, 05:33 AM Reply Like
  • Justin Jaynes
    , contributor
    Comments (3155) | Send Message
    @tftf - I'm pretty bullish on AMD (long AMD) and never really cared about this before because of all the restrictions on lifting the ban. But there are a ton of articles out, the best ones aren't on reuters, but what is finally making me warm to the deal the most is the partnership that Microsoft formed with the Chinese media company in which Microsoft owns a 49% venture, meaning the Chinese run company has the say.


    Nintendo and Sony I'm not as optimistic about, but the fact that Microsoft has partnered with a Chinese company in order to make this deal happen makes it seem, at least to me (I know very little about politics in Cn) closer to reality for MSFT than Sony or Nintendo
    7 Jan 2014, 09:26 AM Reply Like
  • Markus Aarnio
    , contributor
    Comments (3262) | Send Message
    China TechFaith Could Benefit From The New Free Trade Zone:

    7 Jan 2014, 06:42 AM Reply Like
  • ninja
    , contributor
    Comments (8) | Send Message
    Markus do you know that they hold a patent that would have to be honored by the big 3 game makers? Why not do an updated article


    discloser: I'm a CNTF stock holder


    7 Jan 2014, 11:29 AM Reply Like
  • Markus Aarnio
    , contributor
    Comments (3262) | Send Message


    "The other area of interest in gaming is in recent regulatory changes. These changes make our intellectual property portfolio even more attractive to third parties and we are not moving out the potential or licensing or partnership. We took action a few quarters back to reduce the breakeven in our gaming business and had it done to about around $400,000 in Q3. This level can fluctuate in any given quarter. We are working on new launches on adding other resources to support growth opportunities in gaming.


    Jay Goldstein – JBG Capital


    Yeah, Thank you, Thank you for taking my call, can you update us a little bit on the status of the patent position both in terms of the motion gaming technology and I guess about year old patent challenge with Samsung, we haven’t really heard anything on it, if you could just give us an overview of where things stand that will be appreciated?


    Jay Ji


    Basically we have a lot of IPs not only for the games also for the mobile phones. For the Samsung lawsuit we are still going– still ongoing, we have not got any results yet and for the games IP we do have a lot of IPs in China, it’s not [for the worthwhile] [ph] yet and we believe for the IPs in China can be a very good investment for us [two, three times] [ph] as we are.


    Jay Goldstein – JBG Capital


    So have there been conversations with licensing opportunities, is that something that – is something we should be looking for in the near future or…


    Jay Ji


    Currently we don’t have this kind of discussion yet.

    7 Jan 2014, 11:47 AM Reply Like
  • inside man 55
    , contributor
    Comments (1648) | Send Message
    I wonder if Steam consoles could be produced in the Shanghai free trade zone and sold throughout China. Good news for $AMD I think, which powers the 3 major consoles and has some announcements that some of their parts will power some Steam consoles as well.
    7 Jan 2014, 11:33 AM Reply Like
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