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China Issues A Pokémon Go Ban, Affects Other Similar AR Games As Well

Continuing its trend of bans when it comes to all things video game related, China has now issued a Pokémon Go ban and all other similar Augmented Reality games in the country.

China’s General Administration of Press and Publications, Radio, Film and Television issued the following statement regarding the Pokémon Go ban:

Judging from overseas consumption patterns and a number of cases, there are major social risks linked to the operation of this game. These include breaches of security relating to geographical information, traffic safety and threats to consumer safety. In view of these national security considerations, as well as a sense of responsibility for the safety of people and property … the administration will not be approving this type of game for the time being.

Considering the way Pokémon Go works, tracking user location data at all times while they are playing, China considers this a huge security risk.

China’s tight knit security measures have even resulted in Google Maps being banned in the country for quite some time so it is no surprise that a smartphone game that relies on map data would be banned as well.

According to a Beijing based rights activist Li Wei, the government’s main concern when it comes to the Pokémon Go ban might not be exactly unfounded.

According to Li Wei, the government might actually be more concerned with large public gatherings, which can result in some mass incidents, and the security risk posed by geographical information might actually be just an afterthought.

China, up until recently had a long standing ban on consoles which resulted in people gathering at gaming arcades and internet cafes to play games. After the ban was lifted, gaming at home is becoming somewhat popular but even then people usually go out to play games, either at arcades or in parks with handheld consoles or smartphones.