China bans Pokemon Go, similar AR games, on grounds of security



Seems like the biggest mobile gaming hit of 2016 won’t be making its way to China, as the Chinese government has taken a firm stand against the location-based monster catching game as well as similar AR mobile experiences. China’s reasoning? That such pose a threat to the lives of players.

As you probably already know by know, Pokemon Go tasks you with walking around the real world in order to catch virtual critters dubbed Pokemon. As such, it can potentially lead you into a dangerous situation without you noticing since your eyes are glued to the screen. A lot of people will agree, while many others won’t. Either way, if you recall, there was a myriad of reports shortly after the game’s launch spanning from people being hit by cars or robbed while playing the game, to particularly grim cases, such as that of a girl who allegedly stumbled upon a dead body while looking for pocket monsters to catch.

In any case, the Chinese government won’t be changing its mind until the “potential security risks have been evaluated.” Some of said risks include the “threat to geographical information security and the threat to transport and the personal safety of consumers,” says China’s Digital Publishing Assosiation.

An evaluation of the risks of AR location-based games in China has been allegedly prompted by the countless Pokemon Go clones on Android created by Chinese software developers.

Whether Niantic will take any measures to make its game more “secure” for the world’s top smartphone market remains to be seen. We’d bet on “no”.


About Author

David Li

David Li writes regular column on Driverdown for some big names, including Apple, Google and Microsoft. His role before joined Driversdown is senior writer of, and then Science and Technology Daily. David based in Driversdown Beijing office. Contact David via