Playing Games in China

China’s press and copyright authorities have banned foreign investors from operating online games “in any form” in the country. The announcement came Saturday from China’s General Administration of Press and Publication and the National copyright administration. Foreign businesses are banned from investment in online game operations either through wholly owned enterprises, joint ventures or cooperatives, according to the website

The ban is so water tight that it even prohibits foreigners from controlling gaming companies through agreements or providing technical support. In a recent attempt to crackdown on online games operating illegally and featuring unhealthy contents, the Administration shut down 45 overseas online games run without prior approval, according to

In addition to cracking down on foreign companies interests, restrictions were put in place for domestic gaming businesses, making it illegal to run an online gaming business without permits.

With the online gaming industry exploding, the Chinese government definitely wants to keep those profits in house, without any foreign entity reaping the benefits.

Entertainment, Online Research & Communication account for over 50% of all online activities while levels of Online Shopping & Payment are still comparatively low. Online Gaming grew by 30 Million users and in total 181 Million Chinese netizens now write their own blog. Here is a more detailed ranking of what Chinese people are actually doing online:

  • Music: 85.5%
  • Network News: 78.7%
  • Instant Messaging: 72.2%
  • Search Engines: 69.4%
  • Video: 65.8%
  • Online Gaming: 64.2%
  • Email: 55.4%
  • Having Blogs: 53.8%
  • Forum/BBS: 30.4%
  • Online Shopping: 26%
  • Online Payment: 22.4%
  • Online Stock Speculation: 10.4%
  • Travel Reservation: 4.1%

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