Sony has shut down its PlayStation Store in China to upgrade its security there — cutting off income from the world’s largest video game market.
PlayStation 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.
The closure follows social media reports that mainland China PlayStation users had been able to switch to overseas services via a backdoor in order circumvent the communist regime’s restrictions to download unlicensed games.
Earlier this month, a social media user on Weibo named “senliyingsi” said he had reported the backdoor to authorities in a post that was later heavily criticised and shared by thousands of Chinese game enthusiasts.
China requires 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 young people.
Last year, 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.
Sony declined 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 services.
National Press and Publication Administration, the content regulator, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
With Post wires.
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