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Nintendo Switch players in China are inadvertently being blocked from the Online service

After an incredibly long delay, Nintendo finally rolled out its Switch Online service last week, giving users a reward scheme, NES games and cloud saves with some caveats. Not everyone has been able to enjoy the feature, however, after most Chinese players have inadvertently been blocked from the service.

Twitter and YouTube user Chinese Nintendo shared the bad news at the end of last week, explaining that gamers within the country were often suffering from “black screens and connection failures” across Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon 2. Digging a little deeper, the channel revealed that the fault might be related to Nintendo utilising Google-based servers, given that Google is blocked within the mainland of China.

Nintendo has yet to officially launch the Switch in mainland China, with the majority of locals getting their hands on the console via Hong Kong.  Due to its fluctuating state of independence, Google services are still welcomed in Hong Kong, with the region taking a more open approach in comparison to the heavy restrictions implemented in the mainland.

“China has a huge population and I believe there are many people who want to enjoy the forms of play and games made by Nintendo, which is why we continue to study business opportunities even though our products are unavailable there at the present time,” revealed Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima during an investor Q&A. Sadly, Kimishima also stated that as quickly as he would like to make a push into the nation’s market with games currently enjoyed in other countries, he could not say anything “about activities that will start within the year.”

Given that the majority of affected people own a Switch that isn’t officially supported, there is no expected time frame for a fix. There’s a chance that Google’s catered search engine currently in production could help solve some issues with the local government, however Google has yet to reveal plans on this front beyond search capabilities.

KitGuru Says: It’s always sad to hear when a fellow gamer is suffering for any reason. Hopefully Nintendo finds a solution in the near future.

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