Nintendo Switch Gets Approval in China, What Does This Mean?

The Department of Culture of Guangdong Province in China has approved the Nintendo Switch sales with Tencent as the distributor.

Yesterday, authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong approved documentation related to Nintendo Switch sales. Tencent, the giant Chinese publisher, is set to distribute the handheld console in China. Nintendo Switch in China will come with a test version of the “New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe Edition (Experience Edition)”. The official documentation can be found here.

Of course, this news is great for both Nintendo and Switch fans as the company didn’t have any official presence in China before.

Investors are also getting excited because this Tencent-Nintendo deal can open up a huge gateway for Chinese game development companies to come onboard. After the news hit the media, Nintendo shares hit their highest level since an intra-day high on October 18, 2018.

Daniel Ahmad, an analyst at Niko Partners said in a note on Thursday that investors shouldn’t jump on the hype train right now as each individual game will need approval from Chinese regulators.

This is still very early in the process. Therefore, we expect there to be some time before the console releases in China.

Nintendo and Tencent will also need to submit each game for approval in China and ensure the games comply with content regulations. This too is a lengthy process and means that it will take some time before Nintendo can build up a large library of official games in China.

It seems there is going to be a while before games get approved. Tencent will likely wait before a whole library of games is approved. It seems only logical to ship a console that has games.

Although the official documentation only mentions “Nintendo Switch”, it is also likely that Nintendo’s rumored less expensive (Lite) version of Switch and The Nintendo Switch Pro will also be released in China somewhere around fall.

Right now, there is no confirmation about the Nintendo Switch release date or pre-orders in China from Tencent. The only thing fans can do is wait and see what happens.

Source: Guangdong Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism.