Pokemon Go Banned in China: Political Rivalry With Japan Could be Reason for Ban

Pokemon Go Banned in China: Political Rivalry With Japan Could be Reason for Ban PHOTOGRAPH: Flickr/Eduardo Woo |

Pokemon Go may not witness its debut in China due to what is seen as potential risks. The Chinese government will complete its investigation regarding the information the game will be able to access.

Niantic’s augmented reality game received unprecedented fame around the world. Gamers who did not have initial access begged the company to launch the game in their country. Most progressive countries have access to the game except for one: China.

China vs Japan: Pokemon Go banned in China

A commentary on Forbes stated that the reason China banned the game is because of its indifference to Japan. Japan and China, including other Southeast Asian countries, have a territorial dispute in the maritime waters of the region. There are speculations that since a company developed the game based on Japanese media, China is not too happy to let it through.

China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television refused to license the game. The administration will work with other government department to assess the risks. Chinese authorities said they have the responsibility to prioritize national security and safety of people’s lives and property.

Pokemon Go poses risk in China’s consumer safety and national security

There are two issues at work in the ban, namely, consumer safety and national security. China’s worry with consumer safety is not unfounded. Other countries reported accidents caused by playing the game while driving. In terms of national security, the game can determine specific locations in the map, allegedly posing a huge risk in the internal security of China.

IGN reported that the Chinese government deemed the game a threat to geographical information security. The game requires players to move to different locations. Hence, Chinese authorities are wary about how the game can be used as a tool to spy in the country.

China heavily banned mapping activities. Moreover, the country restricted private mapping activities without obtaining permission. The AR game relies on map data from Google’s function, which certainly poses concern for the government.

In addition, China blocked Google Maps in the country. This would certainly affect the game, bringing uncertainty on how it would perform. Since the game will not be allowed in China in the near future, several Chinese companies started working on clones. It is possible that Niantic might configure the game to appease Chinese officials and enter the nation’s lucrative market.

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