BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Although Pokémon Go is still on the list of the most popular games in U.S., the Chinese authorities have banned the release of the game in their country and offered as explanation the security risks it may bring up and the safety threats. The state censor declared that the game may become authorized in the country only after a proper evaluation of the risks is run.
China is skeptical about Pokémon Go since it is not a regular game. While the games everybody is used to are played inside sitting on the couch in front of the TV, Pokémon Go requires their players to move. They have to go out in the streets to search for Pokémon, catch them and earn points and special rewards. The game recorded immense popularity in the U.S. from the first day of its release, making the profits of the company Niantic Labs reach impressive amounts. Users spent around $4.9 million on the app during the first day after the release and around $22.1 million during the first week.
The idea of the game is embraced by many as an innovative one since it encourages players to exercise and go out into their cities to discover new places. The game involves a lot of activity and, for some, it seems like a breath of fresh air compared to other addictive games that keep players stuck to a screen not moving for several hours.
However, many players ended up entering private properties while searching for Pokémon. This is one of the reasons why the Chinese authorities are skeptical regarding the game. Moreover, players get quite distracted and many cases of Pokémon Go players getting involved into accidents have been reported. However, the main reason why China postponed the release of the game are the privacy issues that created a lot of controversies. The state censor stated that they banned the game in order to protect the national security and the safety of the people.
Also, the game needs to run Google services in order to get information on the maps. In China, access to Google services is blocked, so the game would have been inaccessible anyway. The Chinese authorities fear that the game is a threat to national security and it might leak vital information.
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