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Copies of Animal Crossing: New Horizons have been pulled from online retailers in China, reportedly in response to the game's use by activists.

Alissa McAloon, Publisher

April 10, 2020

1 Min Read

Copies of Animal Crossing: New Horizons have been pulled from online retailers in China, a removal Reuters says is the Chinese government's response to its use by vocal activists calling for Hong Kong's independence from China.

While the Nintendo Switch officially launched in China late last year, New Horizons isn’t one of the few games approved and officially available for purchase in China at this point, so those in search of the game instead turn to gray market online retailers to secure a copy.

Those gray market retailers technically ban the sale of imported games, but actual enforcement of that rule tends to be lax and inconsistent. Niko Partners’ Daniel Ahmad has an insightful thread on the whole debacle that dives into the history and reason for this sudden enforcement.

In addition to what's mentioned by the Reuters report, Ahmad notes that sellers on the storefront Taobao have been told they cannot list imported versions of New Horizons though both note that the prevalence of user-made content critical of the Chinese government is likely at least partially to blame for the removal.

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