Pokémon NO GO in China

Pokémon GO

I keep reading about how Pokémon Go is so wildly popular everywhere, and I tried to play it in China, but it just doesn’t work. I managed to use a VPN to create an account using my Google login, and I even caught one little creature (I think it was just part of a beginner tutorial), but then the virtual world (in China) was a vast wasteland… nothing to play. Later, I couldn’t get the app to connect to the server over 4G while I was out and about. Still later, the app acted like I didn’t have an account anymore.

I see now that there is already a Chinese Pokémon Go clone. This is one of the things that disturbs me so much about using the internet in China. It’s not just that we’re so often forced to use cloned apps instead of the real deal (although that, too, is annoying). It’s that we’re cut off from the rest of the world’s users, isolated.

Which is, of course, exactly the point. Even for Pokémon Go.


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. It looks like account registration through Pokemon Club is down right now (actually, I’m having trouble connecting at all today, even through my Google account). Maybe when they get the hardware beefed up, you could try again with a Pokemon Club account?

  2. Oh, no, you mean China won’t be exposed to the cultural values of beating innocent animals unconscious, then enslaving them? And then the new slavemaster (the player w00t!) forces his new slaves into pit fighting for his amusement. My, how evil China is for saving us from these ideas.

    The idea that this sort of thing is suitable for children is sickening. Western culture is toxic and cancerous and needs to be brought to an orderly end.

    • Fras Smith Says: July 12, 2016 at 3:45 pm

      So, just how is Pokémon “Western” culture? It is thoroughly Japanese and very much in keeping with Asian culture.

      • Do you not know that everything is the West (specifically America)’s fault? Get with the times.

  3. At the moment, it only works in a few countries, e.g., USA, Australia. It has been up and down here in Taiwan a few times. But mostly down now. They (Niantic) need to beef up there server infrastructure before continuing the global roll-out.

    Since it uses GPS location, I’m very curious how that will work in China or even if it will be allowed.

  4. I doubt it would go well in China, the boom in USA is 90% more based on the fame of the Pokemon franchise, which is almost completely absent in china,
    as previously all nintendo games can only be played on their exclusive consoles which are not sold in china, barely anyone ever played this any pokemon games, even tho they might have heard of it, with tons of games out there with similiar mechanis and prbbly even more appealing art styles for the market,
    this might be another case like the Warship Girl that is more popular than the original kantai collection, and ended up being better funded, developed budget wise and other aspects in the end

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