China Bans Pokemon Go After App Ends 2016 With Strongest Week Since Launch
China may be the world’s biggest spender when it comes to iOS app spending, however, it looks like Nintendo’s Pokemon Go won’t be the beneficiary of their voracious hunger for digital content.
As reported by Reuters, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television is citing “a high level of responsibility to national security and the safety of people’s lives and property” as their chief concerns surrounding Pokemon GO.
Unfortunately, the state censor says that until risks can be properly assessed, they will not license the game for availability in their territory.
The state censor highlighted the “threat to geographical information security and the threat to transport and the personal safety of consumers” in a posting on its website as their biggest concerns.
The game’s rejection from the Chinese market comes at a crucial time for Nintendo and Niantic’s hugely-popular AR game.
Research firm Sensor Tower recently reported a surge in U.S. revenue for Niantic’s Pokémon GO during the final days of 2016 that saw players spent roughly $4.9 million in in-app purchases.
The firm says say that “the week of December 26 was the game’s highest grossing in the U.S. since mid-July at approximately $22.1 million spent.”
Based on data collected by Sensor Tower, Pokemon Go could be poised to reverse the gradual decline that has haunted it since unprecedented rise to popularity.
In the pursuit of such growth, an expansion to the Chinese market could have proven crucial for the profitability of the app.
Chinese users spent $1.7 billion on apps and in-app purchases in the third quarter of 2016, overtaking Japan for the number one spot.
A representative speaking on behalf of Niantic indicated to gaming blog Kotaku that the company “is focused elsewhere at the moment”.