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Pokemon Go is still banned in China

Pokemon Go China Ban

Millions of Pokemon Go players are still trying to catch every Pokemon creature that the game has spread all over the world. But not in China. The popular app is still not available in the region, and it might not launch anytime soon. Apparently, the country’s censoring body is still evaluating security risks related to Pokemon Go. And it’s not just Niantic’s hit iPhone and Android game that’s affected. Any other similar application that uses augmented reality (AR) might not be allowed in the country.

The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television is the local authority that’s investigating Pokemon Go and other AR apps in China, Reuters reports. The censor is coordinating with other government departments to evaluate the game’s risks. Apparently, it’s “a high level of responsibility to national security and the safety of people’s lives and property” that convinced the censoring body to act.

The risks include “threat to geographical information security and the threat to transport and the personal safety of consumers,” the organization said via a games panel of the China Audio-video and Digital Publishing Association.

Reuters says that some Chinese companies have developed similar AR games that include location-based services, which prompted the panel to seek advice from the licensing body. One other cause of concern for China might be Google Maps. Niantic relies on game data from Google Maps, a navigation app that’s not available in China.

Niantic’s viral AR game is available almost everywhere else in the world, but China is still not taking part in the Pokemon Go phenomenon. That’s likely a major problem for Niantic, given that China is the biggest mobile market in the world and the largest online gaming market.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.