China temporarily lifts ban on foreign consoles

China is allowing foreign firms to make game consoles in Shanghai's free trade zone and then sell them in the country, after the government temporarily suspended its 14-year-ban on foreign console sales. Both the BBC and Reuters report that the Chinese government issued a statement on Monday, noting it didn't say how long the suspension will last.

China enacted the console ban in 2000, citing adverse effects on children and young people, but the government began laying out plans last year to revoke it. Although it's temporary, the lifting of the ban opens up a huge market for the platform holders to be directly involved in; before the ban, consoles were generally acquired in China as grey market imports, with a third party unaffiliated with the manufacturer selling them.

As GI.biz notes, China's gaming market is thriving. 2013 saw tracked industry revenues of $13.75 billion in the country, with just $10 million generated by console game sales.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.