Link

Xbox One to hit shelves in China by September 2014, ending China’s 14-year game console ban

xbox one

The Xbox One will be released on the Chinese mainland September next year, according to Funshion CEO Luo Jiangchun. Shanghai-based media company BesTV bought a majority stake in Chinese video portal Funshion in August.

In September this year, BesTV and Microsoft announced they would launch a joint-venture in Shanghai’s free trade zone to bring an entertainment console to the mainland. Together, BesTV and Microsoft sunk $79 million into the project.

Back then, the mystery device was dubbed Bestpad, and it was said to be based on Xbox technology. But Luo specifically mentioned the Xbox One, and even offered a specific time period for launch.

China’s game console ban has been in effect since 2000. Government documents issued by China’s State office in late September suggest the 13-year ban will come to an end, but we’ve heard many false alarms before. As we noted earlier, approval could still be denied by the Ministry of Culture, MIIT, and other relevant government departments.

The Xbox One’s emphasis on being a home multimedia platform and less of a pure gaming machine could help it bypass the ban. But even if Xbox makes its way into the Chinese market, that doesn’t mean it will be successful.

Check out this link:

Xbox One to hit shelves in China by September 2014

Link

Facebook says it remains blocked in China’s Free Trade Zone

facebook-china-650x0

Due to well-known restrictions on Internet usage in China, any report that says people are free to go about their social media ways is immediately cast with doubt. However, those who are hoping that the country’s stringent policies over online activity are easing will be glad to know that yes, finally, China is allowing some leniency when it comes to the Web… provided that you stay within the “free-trade zone,” according to a South China Morning Post (SCMP) report.

So where exactly is the free-trade zone? SCMP describes it as an area spanning 28.78 square kilometers in Shanghai, China’s largest city in terms of population. The zone will be located in the city’s Pudong New Area and will include the Waigaoqiao duty-free zone, the Yangshan deepwater port, and the international airport area. According to SCMP’s anonymous government contacts, over the next couple of years the free-trade zone will eventually cover the entire Pudong district – an additional 1210.4 square kilometers – provided that this year’s initial move proves to be economically fruitful for the nation down the road.

China has always been known to be extremely conservative when it comes to the Internet – to date, there are more than 2,000 websites that are both currently and previously blocked in the mainland (not including Macau and Hong Kong), and according to Amnesty International, China “has the largest recorded number of imprisoned journalists and cyber-dissidents in the world.

Given the country’s inclination to Web censorship, the fact that access to previously banned websites within the free-trade zone has been approved by the government could be perceived as a step in the right direction. Some of the websites that are reportedly permitted in the free-trade zone are social networks Facebook and Twitter – which were both banned in 2009 – and the New York Times, which was banned last year. (We have reached out to Facebook, Twitter, and the New York Times for comment and this story will be updated if we receive response.)

Additionally, China is open to foreign interest in setting up shop within the zone, specifically bids from telecommunications companies that offer Internet connectivity. China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom, three of the country’s biggest telecommunications companies, reportedly have no qualms about the potential for foreign competition since they are all state-owned corporations and the final decision to let international investors in was sanctioned by China’s top-tier leaders.

“In order to welcome foreign companies to invest and to let foreigners live and work happily in the free trade zone, we must think about how we can make them feel like at home. If they can’t get onto Facebook or read The New York Times, they may naturally wonder how special the free trade zone is compared with the rest of China,” a source from the government told SCMP.

The Shanghai free-trade zone is scheduled for launch at the end of this month.

Check out this link

Facebook says it remains blocked in China’s Free Trade Zone