Pokemon Go finally available in China after glitch causes geoblock lift

Jessica Filby
Pokemon Go china Geoblock

After being geoblocked just one year after the game was released, Pokemon Go finally arrived in mainland China thanks to a 30-minute glitch that mysteriously lifted the country-wide ban.

When Pokemon Go was originally released back in 2016, the extremely popular mobile game was quickly banned in China with the country citing national security and consumer safety concerns as their primary reason, honing in on the lack of awareness when using a mobile.

However, in an odd glitch on July 7, 2024, tons of Pokemon Go players were able to open their games and explore mainland China inside their game, with unmanned Gyms, Pokestops, and wild spawns appearing across the country.

The sprawl of content inside the map was primarily due to the fact that the ban occurred in 2017, giving players the chance to submit their own Pokestops and Gyms, which certainly came in handy seven years later.

Unfortunately, the arrival appears to purely be a glitch, as the access only lasted for half an hour, and is now no longer available.

Nevertheless, the Pokemon Go community went wild for the added access, with many loving the unmanned Gym availability. Although it’s definitely one of those gyms you’ll never get your Pokemon back from, given its banned nature.

On top of the unmanned Gyms, some players managed to get hold of a few postcards from previously geoblocked areas, with one sharing their snapshot of Tian’anmen Square in Beijing. While they may not be great for added resources or extra region-locked Pokemon, the postcards are perfect for collectors who happen to be looking for rare finds in the game.

Currently, there is no word regarding why the geoban was lifted in mainland China, or why it only lasted for half an hour.

We’ve reached out to Niantic for comment.

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