It looks as though Niantic, The Pokemon Company, and Nintendo are going miss out on the potential for 1.3 billion new Pokemon Go players in China. The Chinese government will not allow the game to be licensed due to serious concerns over safety and security.
Pokemon Go works by having players search the real world for Pokemon and proved to be a big, albeit short-lived hit in the markets where it saw a release. However, the game is linked to a number of injuries and even deaths due to players concentrating on the game more than their surroundings.
According to Reuters, China's state censor carried out a review of Pokemon Go using a games panel called the China Audio-video and Digital Publishing Association. The panel concluded that Pokemon Go presented a, "threat to transport and the personal safety of consumers."
It's not just the safety of individuals that raised red flags in China, though. "Geographical information security" was also highlighted as a concern. As Pokemon Go relies on mapping, then it could certainly be used for tracking. Of course, Pokemon Go would face another issue if launched in China as it relies on Google Maps to function, which is a service not allowed to operate there.
A lack of licensing for Pokemon Go also means no licenses for similar games in development within China. However, that won't stop Chinese developers figuring out what they need to change in order to satisfy the censors and get their games released. The first developer/publisher to achieve that has the potential to generate far more revenue than Pokemon Go due to the sheer size of the Chinese market.