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China's free trade zone regulations set, ready for video game console sales

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Regulations for China's free trade zone in Shanghai are now officially in place, opening the area for the sale and trade of video game consoles, reports People's Daily.

The ban on console sales in China — which lasted close to 14 years — lifted last September, when the country announced it would set up the FTZ in Shanghai. Since then, the government has been working to set up rules for how the trading zone will be governed and operated. Foreign companies, like Sony and Nintendo, can now being to operate in this zone, along with any domestic Chinese game development companies.

In June 2013, the Chinese government revealed it would end its ban on the production and sale of video game consoles, which was introduced in 2000. Foreign firms would be able to produce and sell their hardware within the country, but only within an established free trade zone. The Shanghai free trade zone was created that fall and opened on Oct. 1 with the promise of set regulations to be phased in over the next two or three years.

This past January, China's State Council announced the console sale ban was officially lifted, releasing a statement that permitted "foreign-invested enterprises" to manufacture and sell hardware within the government-approved zone. The country's Ministry of Culture also revealed that guidelines for video game software standards were also being revised, with final regulations to be released to game and console developers in the near future. This regulations will include a ban on any content that is "hostile to China, or not in conformity with the outlook of China's government," according to a statement from China's ministry of culture head Cai Wu.

In March, ZTE Corp and online game developer The9 Ltd. announced collaboration on a native Chinese game console, dubbed the Fun Box.