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China Says 'No' to Pokémon GO

China Says 'No' to Pokémon GO
Gamers in China will not be able to play Pokémon GO for the time being due to state security concerns.

(CCM) — China has banned the hit augmented-reality smartphone game Pokémon GO because the state censor believes that allowing players to "catch 'em all" may pose too great a security risk, according to a Reuters report. The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television will confer with other government departments to assess the risk that the game poses, prompted by "a high level of responsibility to national security and the safety of people's lives and property," it announced. Possible risks posed by Pokémon GO include "threat to geographical information security and the threat to transport and the personal safety of consumers," according to the China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association. Pokémon GO relies on Google's Maps application, which is currently blocked in China.

The game, which has been a huge hit around the world, involves players walking around real-life neighborhoods to hunt for Pokémon that are superimposed on their smartphone screens. In its first month, it raked in more than $200 million from sales on Apple's App Store and the Google Play Store according to research from mobile app marketing company Sensor Tower. Since its launch, it has been blamed for road accidents involving distracted players and has also led to large numbers of players congregating on private property in many different countries.

Image: © Chinnapong - Shutterstock.com
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