Pokémon GO still banned in China, for all the wrong reasons
Pokémon Sun and Moon have been out for nearly two months now, and if you read our review of the game in the January issue of HWM, you’ll know that we’ve sung praises for it, especially compared to the mobile app that exists to hype it up. Sure, you’ll still see the occasional 'fan' who sticks to Pokémon GO because they’re not fan enough to play an actual Pokémon game. But it beats being in China, where you won’t be able to play it at all.
According to Reuters, the Chinese State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television said that AR games like Pokémon GO will not be allowed until potential security risks can be assessed. What kind of security risks? “Threat to geographical information security and the threat to transport and the personal safety of consumers,” apparently.
Now, that latter half is fine, seeing as we’ve heard for ourselves the kind of traffic mess people get themselves into while being engrossed in Pokémon GO. It’s the first bit that gets to us. What do they mean by geographical information security anyway? Is there something that the country has managed to hide from satellite imagery that can be uncovered by Google Maps or similar tech? Or are they just trying to keep Google out, and by extension Pokémon GO because it uses data that originated from Google Maps specifically? Maybe the main concern is about stalkers?
Either way, Chinese officials have voiced concerns regarding it and thus are not letting Pokémon GO into the country, even if they do allow local bootlegs like City Elves Go – which doesn’t use AR. Maybe that’s the key difference, but the actual rationale will remain an eternal mystery.