China is taking on Animal Crossing: New Horizons, blocking its sale on the country’s version of ebay.
The Chinese authorities have yet to approve the phenomenally popular Nintendo Switch exclusive for official release, so fans were importing directly from ebay-style websites such as Taobao and Pinduoduo, or buying it digitally by switching their Switch eShop region.
Now, Taobao and Pinduoduo have pulled the game at the request of the Chinese authorities. But why? According to Daniel Ahmad, a senior analyst at Niko Partners who specialises in the Asian video game industry, it’s down to two things: Animal Crossing is being used by Hong Kong protesters and others to create politically sensitive user-generated content, and it’s a smash hit on social media.