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Nintendo have managed to gain permission to sell some of their products in China thanks to Chinese tech-giant Tencent.
Currently there is no legal distribution of the Nintendo Switch in China. However, a report from Reuters states that Tencent have been given permission to distribute the console with a a “test version” of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe by authorities in Guangdong (a southern province in China). As Tencent is registered in Guangdong, this is where Tencent apply for approvals on games and services they publish.
Reuters also states that “Two people familiar with the matter said the approval by the Guangdong culture ministry would allow the Switch to be sold nationwide.” If true, what games will be approved of is unknown. China has been notorious in what media it has allowed into its nation in the past, even with the ban on foreign consoles being lifted in July 2015.
A hiatus on game approvals lasting several months was caused by a combination of “bureaucratic in-fighting,” a new regulatory body being created, and other bodies recommending fewer games be approved to combat myopia and so-called game addiction. During this time, Tencent lost $20 billion in stock. In January 2018 approvals began again, approving over eighty games.
Nintendo have worked with Tencent in the past, publishing MOBA Arena of Valor outside of China on the Nintendo Switch, though the game was also available on Android and iOS. There is currently no information whether users in China will be under the same legal ID verification that limits play-time based on age.