According to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report, based on an announcement handed out to the journal by China’s State Council, China is set to lift its ban on the sale of video game consoles from foreign-funded companies.
The 13-year-old ban – which was imposed by China in the year 2000 – will be lifted as a result of the newly-established Shanghai Free Trade Zone, which will open on October 1. Regulations governing the "experimental" free trade zone to be set up in Shanghai have been published by the Council and will be phased in over the next two or three years.
Going by the regulations which have been put forth by the Council, overseas firms that run production and sales in the Shanghai zone will be able to sell game consoles, after China's Ministry of Culture duly approves the hardware.
About China’s decision to terminate the ban on game consoles, analyst Xue Yongfeng – from Beijing research firm Analysys International - told PC World that the move will create a major opportunity for game-console manufacturers as the Chinese market opens.
However, adding that manufacturers will have to adapt their business models to suit Chinese gamers, Xue said: "If the companies just try to sell their game consoles without changes, I think it will be difficult.” Further elaborating that the cost of console games is “quite high,” Xue added: “Chinese gamers will be willing to pay for the console hardware, but they don't have a habit of buying expensive games.”
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