Pokemon Go is at risk of facing a long term ban in China. This is because of the Chinese State Censor’s concerns over national security. The official statement says that such augmented reality games may have security risks.
Pokemon Go and other augmented reality games may not be licensed until these risks are assessed. This is as per the official statement released by the State Censor. A major concern cited is the safety of citizens’ “lives and property”.
Another concern of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television is the “high level of responsibility to national security”. Until these risks come to the fore, Pokemon Go will not earn a license. Kotaku reports that fans cannot purchase the game at present.
What the Censor Feels
The censor is also talking about the “threat to geographical information security”. It is also highlighting “the threat to transport and the personal safety of consumers”. Augmented reality games like these enable players to work through their actual environments.
People can navigate in the real world for achieving certain goals. With regard to Pokemon Go, this has often caused muggings, car accidents and even deaths. When the game first launched, tons of people went after Pokemon, causing stampedes.
The Google Maps feature comes in handy for tracking locations of players. This is another aspect that the censor does not like. However, what is funny is that the game has never received an official launch in China.
What Else Should You Know?
There are several spinoffs like City Elves Go. These games tap into player locations though they are not augmented reality ventures. Chinese officials are clear about their dislike for tracking.
Tech 2 also confirms that the censor will collaborate with other governmental departments. The mission here is finding out potential risk elements in the game. Niantic representatives are also keeping mum on the issue. Niantic is reportedly “focused elsewhere” as per an official statement.