In China, Fears That Pokemon Go May Aid Locating Military Bases

In China, Fears That Pokemon Go May Aid Locating Military Bases

Not everyone loves Pokemon Go, the mobile game that has become an instant hit around the world since a limited release just a week ago.

The augmented reality game, in which players walk around real-life neighbourhoods to hunt and catch virtual cartoon characters on their smartphone screens, has been blamed in the United States for several robberies of distracted mobile phone users and car crashes.

A US senator has asked the developers of the game to clarify its data privacy protections.

And although the game is not available in China, the world’s biggest smartphone and online gaming market, some people there fear it could become a Trojan horse for offensive action by the United States and Japan.

“Don’t play Pokemon GO!!!” said user Pitaorenzhe on Chinese microblogging site Weibo. “It’s so the US and Japan can explore China’s secret bases!”

The conspiracy theory is that Japan’s Nintendo Co Ltd, which part owns the Pokemon franchise, and America’s Google can work out where Chinese military bases are by seeing where users can’t go to capture Pokemon characters.

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The game relies on Google services such as Maps.

The theory is that if Nintendo places rare Pokemon in areas where they see players aren’t going, and nobody attempts to capture the creature, it can be deduced that the location has restricted access and could be a military zone.

“Then, when war breaks out, Japan and the US can easily target their guided missiles, and China will have been destroyed by the invasion of a Japanese-American game,” said a social media post circulated on Weibo.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said he was unaware of reports that the game could be a security risk and that he didn’t have time to play with such things. He gave no further details.

Other government ministries did not respond to faxed questions about the game.

Undeterred fans
But the calls for a boycott, and the fact that Pokemon Go hasn’t even been released in China, have not deterred fans.

“I really looked forward to playing the Pokemon artificial reality game since they first announced it. I really liked Pokemon as a kid,” said Gan Tian, a 22-year-old student at Tsinghua University. She plays an unofficial version with an artificial map based on countries where the game is available.

But for many others in the country, playing is proving a challenge. Not only is the game not on Chinese app stores, but Google services are blocked in China.

Nintendo has given no indication as to when or whether Pokemon Go will be released in China.

Niantic, the lab that developed the game, declined to comment on Friday on an eventual launch. Chief executive John Hanke said in an interview that it would be technically possible to launch in China, but noted a host of complex rules and restrictions.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

Tags: Android, Apps, China, Gaming, Google, Niantic, Pokemon, Pokemon Go

 

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Shahid Afridi Urges Subcontinent Teams to Show Unity and Counter Security Fears

Shahid Afridi Pakistan

Shahid Afridi was not happy with Australia cancelling their tour to Bangladesh.

© AFP

Karachi: Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi criticised Australia’s decision to call off their Bangladesh tourciting terrorism fears, saying Monday that while security was paramount tours should “not be cancelled over minor issues”.

Australia scrapped its two-Test tour of Bangladesh last week after official warnings militants may attack Western interests.

The head of the Bangladesh Cricket Board Nazmul Hassan said measures to tighten security should have satisfied any safety concerns, telling reporters in Dhaka that while many countries face such terror threats, “it never stops cricket”.

Afridi echoed that statement on the sidelines of a visit in Karachi to meet Pakistan and Bangladesh’s women’s teams. “Security is paramount but tours should not get cancelled over minor issues,” he told reporters.

“Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka should show some unity and counter these security fears as we have suffered a lot with international teams not coming to Pakistan,” said Afridi.

International cricket was suspended in Pakistan after a deadly 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore. But the country hosted its first Test-playing nation in six years in May, when Zimbabwe toured for a short limited-over series, raising hopes that bigger teams might also come to Pakistan again.

Afridi said Bangladesh’s decision to send their women’s team was a good sign.

“Our country is going through a difficult phase but cricket will be revived through the efforts of Pakistan Cricket Board and we should thank the Bangladesh government for sending their women’s team,” he said.

“I am sure this is the first good step before sending Bangladesh men’s team.”

The popular Twenty20 captain appeared to have charmed the Bangladeshi players, with many posing for selfies with him.

“It’s nice to see women playing good cricket and I congratulate both the teams for their competitive style,” said

Afridi.

Former Bangladesh opener Athar Ali Khan said Afridi’s visit had been “great encouragement” for the women’s teams.

“It will go a long way in raising their performance in the last match,” said Khan, who played 19 one-day internationals for Bangladesh.

[“source-ndtv”]