Pokemon GO faces wall to China release over security concerns

Government evaluating risks presented by location and AR-based games

Pokemon GO faces wall to China release over security concerns

Pokemon GO and similar location and augmented reality-based games may struggle to get the greenlight to launch in China after the country’s government ruled out giving a license for such titles.

The Chinese government has said it will not grant releases for these titles until potential security risks have been evaluated, according to Reuters.

The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television is currently evaluating the risks of location-based AR titles wither other government departments.

Risk assessment

Concerning the effective ban, the government said there was a  “high level of responsibility to national security and the safety of people’s live and property”.

Other issues are also said include threats to “geographical information security” and “the threat to transport and personal safety of consumers".

There have been numerous reports previous across the globe of accidents related to Pokemon GO players, as well as unwanted tresspassers on private property hunting for pokemon.

In the Netherlands, authorities threatend to take Niantic Labs to court after players flocked to protected beaches in Kijkduin, an area that became a hotspot for rare pokemon. Pokemon and pokestops were later removed from the region to protect the beaches.

Of course, while Pokemon GO may effectively currently be banned in China, that doesn’t offer the full story.

For its location-based features to work it requires access to Google Maps, which is blocked in the country. So lifting the ban, while removing a barrier, would still not open the door for a quick release.

Senior Editor

Craig Chapple is Senior Editor of and He was previously Deputy Editor at Develop and Online Editor at Nintendo of Europe.