down its PlayStation Store in China to upgrade its security there — cutting off
income from the world’s largest video game market.
China announced the temporary suspension of the store on its Weibo account
Sunday, saying only that it was for a “system security upgrade.” The Japanese
tech company did not indicate when the PlayStation Store might reopen.
follows social media reports that mainland China PlayStation users had been
able to switch to overseas services via a backdoor in order to circumvent the
Communist regime’s restrictions to download unlicensed games.
month, a social media user on Weibo named “senliyingsi” said he had reported
the backdoor to authorities in a post that was later heavily criticized and
shared by thousands of Chinese game enthusiasts.
that companies obtain a license from its content regulator before launching any
game in the country. It has for years frowned on console games due to concerns
that violent games could have a detrimental effect on the mental health of
only 13 new games were added to the PlayStation Store in China. Nintendo Switch
has only been allowed to offer three games in its China store in partnership
with Tencent since it started selling consoles in China in December.
to comment on whether the reports had played a role in the closure and said the
target of the temporary shutdown was to enhance the safety of the store’s
and Publication Administration, the content regulator, did not immediately
respond to a request for comment.