According to Bloomberg News, a recent report by native news organization China Daily that may end China’s 12-year ban on games have increased stocks for two of Japan’s biggest game companies.
China banned game consoles in 2000 due to concerns of potential “physical and mental” harm to youth. The Ministry of Culture is now holding discussions with other departments about potentially ending the ban according to the state-run China Daily newspaper, although it should be noted that no one was cited. A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Culture’s press office declined to comment.
But that didn’t stop the news from causing a little excitement in Japan. Following the news, Sony Corp (6758) rose 9.1 percent in Tokyo trading to 1,407 yen, reportedly its highest since April 2012. Nintendo Co. (7974) rose 3.4 percent to 9,630, the highest since Dec 07, 2012. With China so close and such a huge “promising” market, the potential in sales could be enormous for the two console makers.
Since the Chinese Console Ban was introduced by seven ministries in 2000, the ban can only be lifted if all seven of them agree to end it. It should be noted that while game consoles have been banned, touchscreen computers and smartphones, such as Apple’s iPad and iPhones, have been available legally. It really doesn’t make sense to ban one source of entertainment if the mobile market–arguably the game console industry’s hugest contender–is available legally.
Also, with China becoming a economic juggernaut in the international scene in recent years, it causes one to wonder if this is yet another step in making China even more of a financially viable nation, especially if China decides to encourage their own console industry. With so much of the world’s black market entertainment technology–including fake consoles, handhelds, and tablets–coming from China, there could be a huge market waiting to burst onto the scene–legally–from China.