‘Pokémon GO’ Ban: National Security Threat Cited As Reason For China’s Ban On Niantic’s App, Other AR Games

Well, that’s too bad. Just when Niantic finally introduced its highly anticipated Gen 2 Pokémon update for the “Pokémon GO” app, the Chinese government decided to ban the augmented reality-based game and all other AR games out there. This means fans...

‘Pokémon GO’ Ban: National Security Threat Cited As Reason For China’s Ban On Niantic’s App, Other AR Games

Well, that’s too bad. Just when Niantic finally introduced its highly anticipated Gen 2 Pokémon update for the “Pokémon GO” app, the Chinese government decided to ban the augmented reality-based game and all other AR games out there. This means fans who anticipated for the release of Niantic’s mobile app in China may have waited in vain or will have to wait a lot longer.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported how the Chinese government is still not giving AR games the green light to penetrate the country, claiming that the potential security risks of such games are still being evaluated. The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television also pointed out that the censor was put in place because AR games could affect “national security” as well as “the safety of people’s lives and property.”

The China Audio-video and Digital Publishing Association games panel also indicated how this new type of games could pose threats to “geographical information security” and to “transport and the personal safety of consumers.” The decision may have been prompted by how “Pokémon GO” got blamed for a number of accidents — some were documented to be fatal.

The Chinese government’s decision is also not surprising, considering that “Pokémon GO” relies on Google’s services like Maps, which are by the way blocked in China. Also, the geolocation functionality of the app has prompted the licensing bodies to believe that players of the game will have better chances of discovering military base locations. For these reasons, Forbes already reported last month that there is no hope for “Pokémon GO” to launch in the country.

Fans desperate to enjoy the “Pokémon GO” experience can obviously download the app from foreign app stores. Unfortunately, this will still be a futile move on their part since Google Maps is blocked in China. All they’ll see when they launch the app is a blank map.

Engadget reports China’s ban reflects how augmented reality continues to be a technology that stirs debate. China is obviously on the negative side, while many countries, like the United States, have an affirmative stand. Hence, it is unlikely for the U.S. to ban “Pokémon GO.” In fact, Niantic’s famous app helped open the doors for the application of augmented reality in other aspects of society.

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.

NEXT NEWS