China's 1.3 billion people probably won't have access to Pokemon Go anytime soon. Reuters reported today that China's state censor will not give Pokemon Go and similar augmented reality game licenses until it evaluates potential security risks for the game.
In a brief statement, China's government announced that it would coordinate with other government departments to evaluate the game's risks, which include the personal safety of consumers, the "threat to transport", and the potential that players can be geographically tracked while playing the game.
Although Pokemon Go was the most downloaded app in the world in 2016, it received plenty of bad publicity due to car accidents and deaths associated with the game. In order to curb players from playing the game while driving, Pokemon Go's developers added a "speed lock" that prevents Pokemon from appearing while traveling at speeds above 30 MPH. Pokemon Go has also come under scrutiny for spawning Pokemon in sensitive or inappropriate areas. Iran previously banned Pokemon Go from its country last year.
China represents the biggest market Pokemon Go has yet to reach, although there were plenty of logistical hurdles that Pokemon Go still needed to clear. The game relies on Google Maps API, which is blocked in China.