Pokémon GO is being tested in China! A mysterious test site occurred in Taiyuan, China, bringing the game to life and disabling it soon there after. It’s unclear if this is just a test or pre-launch preparations.
Pokémon GO was banned in China due to “national security and consumer safety” concerns. Prior to today there were zero in-game activities. A Trainer traveling through China shared this on reddit and tipped us afterwards — Eric Ji, you rock!
Today, for a couple of hours, Pokémon GO was fully functional in Taiyuan, China, although there were no public announcements by Niantic or The Pokémon Company.
Eric has reported the following about his experience:
- The Nearby screen is now operational, showing multiple Pokémon. In his own words:
During the month long trip at Taiyuan, China: this was the first time any sign of life was discovered on the map. The map previously had roads and buildings but there were no Pokémon, Poké Stops, or Gyms.
- PokéStops are based on Ingress portals available in the area and fully functional (items awarded correctly)
- Gyms and Raids are live, although all of the Gyms are white and unclaimed
- Farfetch’d is available in China! Eric managed to catch one in Shanxi, China
- There was a number of issues with the game:
However, there were a few issues within the game. While driving on the road, the GPS was not accurate and the map had some wrong features. However, for the most part the game seemed fine.
- The game died after a few hours
Along the journey towards the nearby Raid, Pokémon began to disappear from the nearby list; and shortly after, all the Gyms and Pokéstops disappeared as if the game was never released again.
It seems that Niantic is working towards lifting the “geo-blockade”, but again, it could be just a test site for something completely different.
However, we believe that Niantic has ironed out a lot of the previously reported security issues, especially with the new PokéStop based tracker, raid curfew and improvements to Trainer security.
We could be hearing about an official Chinese launch (re-launch?) soon.