Pokémon GO Won't Be Coming to China Because of Risks to "Security and Safety"

Pokémon GO Won't Be Coming to China Because of Risks to "Security and Safety"

Safety, security cited as reasons why Pokémon GO is disallowed in China.

Though Pokémon GO's audience has dwindled a bit since its launch (nobody wants to go hunting for Pikachu while sloshing knee-deep through slush), it's still amongst the top ten grossing apps on the App Store.

Pokémon GO could arguably make tons more money if it was released in China – but that won't be happening in any official capacity any time soon. The state cites "a high level of responsibility to national security and the safety of people's lives and property" as a reason for disallowing Niantic's app on Chinese soil.

Editor's pick

Pokemon Sun and Moon Finds Sales Success on the Pokemon Go Train

According to Reuters, a games panel of the China Audio-video and Digital Publishing Association (which is governed by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television censor body) also mentions the "threat to geographical information security and the threat to transport and the personal safety of consumers" on its website.

Pokémon GO has indeed been a catalyst for traffic accidents and trespassing charges, but the app's reliance on Google Maps is the bigger reason Pokémon GO won't hit China any time soon. Google Maps is blocked in the country (some travellers report getting Maps to work in China, albeit in a very limited capacity), and augmented reality games like Pokémon GO depend on Google Maps for its world-building.

China isn't completely devoid of Pokémon goodness, though: The launch of last year's Pokémon Sun and Moon for the Nintendo 3DS marked the first time Pokémon games received an official Chinese release.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

Read this next

Pokemon Go Jump Start Research Guide

There’s some brand new Special Research to take on in Pokemon Go. Here’s what you need to know about the Pokemon Go Jump Start Research.

Pokemon Go September 2019 Community Day

Here’s what you’ll begetting up to for the Pokemon Go September Community Day.

Pokemon Go Gen 5 List: Gen 5 Teaser, Unova Region Detailed

Here are all of the Pokemon that will make their way to Pokemon Go as part of the Gen 5 update.

Pokemon Go Catches One Billion Downloads

Three years since its debut, Pokemon Go endures like a Metapod that's used "Harden" 100 times.

Pokemon GO Raid Tips and Tricks - Rayquaza Raid Bosses

Pokemon GO Raid Bosses are a tough bunch, so bring a friend or two, and know who you're facing. Use our guide and you'll be beating them in no time!

Pokemon Go: A Troubling Situation Research Guide

Pokemon Go: A Troubling Situation Research Guide

More News

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Character Ban Sets Off Massive Debate

Dragon Quest's Hero is a random character... possibly too random.

Halo Infinite's Creative Director Leaves 343 Industries

This week sees a leadership shake-up for Microsoft's big launch title.

"Stop Asking 'Is It Political?' and Start Asking Instead About the Actual Politics of Each Game"

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Also, the things studios of all sizes do to survive, and what happens when that's not enough.

More on Android

Call of Duty Mobile Release Date - Android, iOS, Battle Royale Details

This is our guide on Call of Duty Mobile, including the release date, platforms including Android and iOS, battle royale details, and more.

Fortnite Memorial to a Cube - How to Visit a Memorial to a Cube in the Desert or by a Lake

Here's our guide to the Fortnite cube memorial locations, within the desert and by a lake.

Epic Will Pull Fortnite's Reskinned Battle Pass Pup and Issue Refunds

The pet was just a bit too similar to another pass-exclusive puppy.

Pokemon Masters Already Has 5 Million Pre-Registrations

You get to be a Pokemon Master! And you get to be a Pokemon Master!

Minecraft's Super Duper Graphics Update is Ending Development

Mojang will explore other ways of making Minecraft more super.

Pokemon Go Jump Start Research Guide

There’s some brand new Special Research to take on in Pokemon Go. Here’s what you need to know about the Pokemon Go Jump Start Research.