Chinese tech giant Tencent has received key regulatory approvals in its home country that pave the way for it to begin selling the Nintendo Switch console there.
China is the world’s largest gaming market, but tight regulations make it tough for foreign corporations to enter the market without a local partner. Reuters reports that Nintendo has the domestic partner in Tencent and got the green light to distribute the Nintendo Switch console with a test version of the “New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe” game.
Nintendo stock jumped more than 12 percent Friday.
The Switch has been a smash hit around the globe, selling 32.27 million units since it debuted just over two years ago. Analysts had questioned when Nintendo, which has its North American headquarters in Redmond, Wash., would be able to start selling the Switch in China.
Mobile and computer gaming are the primary forms of gaming in China, as CNBC notes, because of a 14-year government ban on consoles that was lifted in 2014. Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation haven’t gained a huge following in China, but Nintendo has a chance to make a move because of the portable nature of the Switch and the fact that several of its major franchises — Mario, Pokémon and Zelda — already have a significant following there.