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MOC says video game console ban will stay

By Zhang Ye (Global Times)

08:33, January 30, 2013

China's Ministry of Culture (MOC) refuted media reports that it would remove a ban on video game consoles when contacted by the Global Times on Tuesday, meaning major game companies Sony Corp and Nintendo Co may continue to struggle to open the door to China.

Media in China and abroad reported Monday that China was considering ending the ban on selling video game consoles, causing shares of Sony and Nintendo to rise by 9.07 percent and 3.56 percent respectively by Monday's close.

The ban was issued jointly in June 2000 by seven ministries including the MOC, in hopes of regulating the domestic gaming market and preventing teenagers from indulging in video games.

The culture watchdog told the Global Times Tuesday that the government has no intention of changing the policy.

"Thanks to the government's decision in 2000, the domestic online gaming industry is developing strongly and rapidly. And since 2001, the number of listed online game companies has reached 10," Xue Yongfeng, an industry analyst from Beijing-based Internet consulting firm Analysys International, told the Global Times Tuesday.

Analysys International predicted that total sales in China's online gaming market will reach 68.5 billion yuan ($11 billion) in 2013, up 23 percent from 2012, and reach 82.6 billion yuan by 2014 and 94.7 billion yuan by 2015.

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