In the midst of June 2000, the Ministry of Culture issued a notice forbidding "any company or individual from producing and selling electronic game equipment and accessories to China." As of today, Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft can now manufacture video game consoles in China without having to worry about being reprimanded by the government. China's State Council announced that they are officially lifting its 15-year-old ban on the sale of gaming consoles.
The notice was originally issued to help prevent children and youth from the perceived negative effects of playing video games. However, after the ban, a dramatic increase in people began illegally importing consoles and selling them on something called the “gray markets”. Unlike the black market, grey market traders distribute items which are totally legal, but are unauthorized by the original manufacturer (i.e. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo.)
In early 2014, China's State Council enabled the sale and mass-production of foreign consoles. However, this agreement only allowed foreign companies to manufacture and distribute consoles within Shanghai's free trade zone. While this doesn't effect the majority of us, this is definitely big and exciting news for any gamer who resides in China.