Pokemon Go is an augmented reality game that displays virtual creatures when the player goes to new locations. Because of how this game is used, China has prevented its citizens from playing it, stating that it contains ‘rather big social risks.’ This include traffic safety, consumer safety, and the security of geographic information. Here’s an explanation from the China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association (CADPA):
…SAPPRFT will not accept requests to approve such games and has advised domestic game developers to be cautious when considering developing, introducing or operating such games.
SAPPRFT is China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television.
Most of the features in Pokemon Go utilize Google Maps, which is blocked in China. Chinese gaming companies are taking advantage of augmented reality games including Alibaba and Tencent. Their games have a Chinese lunar new year theme; these games will be playable in late January.
Pokemon Go has been downloaded 500 million times. Here’s an overview of the game from Wikipedia:
Pokémon Go is a free-to-play, location-based augmented reality game developed by Niantic for iOS and Android devices. The game was the result of a collaboration between Niantic and Nintendo, by way of The Pokémon Company, and was initially released in selected countries in July 2016. In the game, players use a mobile device’s GPS capability to locate, capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, who appear on the screen as if they were in the same real-world location as the player. The game supports in-app purchases for additional in-game items.