China lifts ban on sale of foreign gaming consoles

|By:, SA News Editor

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.